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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE

When a subject appears everywhere I turn, I soon find myself writing about it. Lately the subject of Islam and Sharia Law has been popping up every day as I read, surf the net, watch TV, and have conversations. My husband came home from the dentist today and told me that he got into a deep conversation about the dangers of Islam with the woman who was cleaning his teeth. Recently, I became involved in a "debate" about the subject on facebook. It's encouraging that people are talking about this, but unfortunately many Americans are sugar-coating the truth about Islam in the name of tolerance and political correctness.

We have in this country a general reluctance to criticize any non-Christian religion. We also have a universal public ignorance about the Muslim religion, Islam. The woman I was debating with on facebook was defending Islam as a "peace-loving" religion. When I quoted from the Koran to prove how wrong she is, she said that she hasn't read the Koran. She doesn't have time. But she does have time to defend a religion she knows nothing about. She said that we've all known peace-loving Muslim Americans. Is she saying that we can rely on silent, peace-loving Muslims to stop the Islamic jihad threat? Is she saying that we shouldn't even worry about this threat because she has a few peace-loving Muslim neighbors?

Whether most people of a religion are peace-loving or not isn't nearly as important as who's calling the shots. It's fanatical jihadists who are calling the shots in many Muslim countries. They don't want peace and they can't be stopped by Muslims who supposedly do. The peace-loving Japanese couldn't stop what happened at Pearl Harbor because the war-loving Japanese were calling the shots. The peace-loving Germans couldn't stop Hitler's rise to power and the execution of millions of jews. Nor will the silent supposed peace-loving Muslims be able to save us from the Islamic jihad threat. Jihad is war on behalf of Islam. Jihad is a duty for Muslims. The primary aim of jihad is the defense and expansion of Islam.

Islam is, without a doubt, expanding. Some say it is the world's fastest growing religion. Estimates vary on the number of Muslims living in the US, but according to my research, the number could be anywhere from 6 to 9 million. We hear all the time that Islam is a peaceful religion and that most Muslims aren't out to destroy the west. We're told that only 1 percent of the 1.2 BILLION Muslims are fanatical jihadists who believe America is the Great Satan, the cause of all evil, and should be attacked and destroyed as it was on 9/11. Is that supposed to be a comfort? Millions of Muslims live within our borders. And like the woman I debated with on facebook, many Americans are completely ignorant about the Muslim religion, what Islamic followers believe, and how they are taught to live and treat others.

The more I researched Islam, the more disturbed I became. After googling "the Koran in English" I learned that Islam is the last religion you'd want forced on you as a woman. According to Islamic Law (also known as Sharia Law), women are considered inferior and treated as nothing more than property. A husband may legally beat his wife (Koran 4:34). He may also exchange one wife for another (Koran 40:20). Having many wives is acceptable as well (Koran 4:3). A woman accused of adultery can be stoned to death. If she's guilty of lewdness she can be left to die in her home. Muslim women are often forced into marriage and denied certain privileges such as driving a car or getting an education. Muslim women are also the victims of "honor killings". When a woman brings shame on her family by let's say dating the wrong man or maybe getting pregnant, then her family is free to kill her in order to get rid of the shame she brought them. Get rid of the shame. Get rid of her. So her own brother, father, or maybe a willing uncle is free to kill her for shaming the family.

Some of the things I came across as I researched Sharia Law were so gruesome that I couldn't tolerate reading about it or watching it. One video was an actual amputation of a man's hand. He had stolen some cattle and under Sharia law his hand had to be cut off for his crime. I watched his arm being scrubbed to prepare for the surgery then clicked off when I saw the scalpel in hand. Another video showed the faces and screams of Muslim girls as they endured genital mutilation or female circumcision. I couldn't bear to watch more than a few seconds of that one. This is Islam. This is what Muslims are taught to do. Shariah law is the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Muhammad, who sexually enslaved women and married a six-year-old girl, Aisha. He waited until she was nine to consumate the marriage. What an example!

The ultimate goal of Muslims is to apply Sharia law globally. They want to replace our constitution with the Koran and turn the United States into an Islamic State. But Americans don't see this. Like my facebook friend, they insist that Islam is a peaceful religion and we have nothing to worry about. Well here's a list of activities that the followers of this peaceful religion have been up to over the years, just in case you forgot: Muslim bombing of Pan Am flight 103; Muslim bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993; Muslim bombing of the US Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon; Muslim bombing of the American Embassies in Africa; and the Muslim attack on the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. How many times does one need to be attacked before realizing that someone wants to hurt you?

After we watched the twin towers fall on 9/11 we tuned into our televisions that night and saw crowds in Muslim capitols around the world celebrating the destruction of the world trade center and the death of 3,000 people. Now plans are underway to construct an Islamic mosque just 600 feet from where those towers stood. The mosque will commemorate the triumph of Islam over America. Historically, mosques are built to mark Islamic conquests, and it's part of the strategy to establish a Sharia-compliant America. I just can't believe this is even being considered. And get this, the mosque is supposed to be dedicated on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of 9/11. How sick is that?

I'm not a fearmonger. In fact, writing about this makes me uncomfortable. For the past three blogs I've written about subjects that I never thought I would touch. I'd rather write about the funny things that happen at Wal-Mart (If you read my blogs regularly, you'll get that). I feel a strong need to warn people because knowledge is power. If you're aware of our nation's problems, you can fight back with the power of prayer. There are other civilized ways to fight back too. But being aware is the first step.

Unfortunately, aware is not a word I would use to describe the average American citizen. We seem more informed about what's happening in Hollywood that what's happening in our country. What started the facebook debate that inspired me to write this was a video I posted on my wall titled, Obama Admits He's a Muslim. You can probably find the video if you search for it. I posted it because it seems that the American public is not even aware of Obama's profound devotion to Islam. All through the video our president gushes over Muslims and their great contributions to society. He quotes from the Koran and talks of his love for everything Islam.

A skeptic might argue that his statements are all taken out of context, but affection is affection no matter what the context. It's obvious from watching that video that Obama is very respectful of, very loyal of, and very fond of the Muslim faith. Remember his bow to a Saudi King?  He even gave a formal dinner in the White House to honor the Islamic holiday, Ramadan. The traditional meal to honor The National Day of Prayer was not held at the White House. Well of course not, that's a Christian idea and as he said in his speech, we are no longer a Christian nation.

People who can't see what's happening to our country are living in their own oblivious bubble. In a gallup poll from 2006, when Americans were asked what they admire most about the Muslim world, the second most common response was, "I don't know." Americans don't know what's going on and they don't seem to care even when you tell them. I believe it's important to stay informed about world events, especially now when nation is rising against nation. There's really no excuse for being uninformed after 9/11. That was our wake-up call. But many of us have hit the snooze button and fallen back to sleep.

Perhaps a trip to Dearborn Michigan would open some eyes. This area has a high population of Muslims and it serves as an example of how Muslims influence their environment. Restaurants in Dearborn are beginning to serve meat that's cut according to Islamic law. Supermarkets also carry this meat. Hospitals adjust their meal service for Muslims and throughout the month of Ramadan, the cafeteria service hours are arranged to suit Muslims. These changes may not seem like a big deal, but it's only the beginning.

Pushing for food that's clean by Islamic standards secures food preparation jobs for Muslims. They'll increase pressure on supermarket chains to stock the food and will threaten those who fail to comply. The next step is forcing the controlling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia law and it's all downhill from there. Dearborn Michigan has already made headlines for trying to enforce Islamic law on it's citizens. For a complete and actual tracking of the influence of Muslims in a society, check out the blog John McTernan's Insights and click on Tracking the Influence of Muslims in A Society on the right side of the page. Scroll down until you find it.

When you aren't concerned about a foreign invader, you go about your life as usual. You feel no urgency to take action. We need to develop a sense of urgency because the threat is real and it will change everything about America. Our government leaders are deaf to the voice of the people, but God is not. We need prayer warriors. Is your country, your freedom, and your way of life worth praying for? We have a lot to lose.

"If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land" -2 Chronicles 7:14

For more information about this subject, type in the following articles in your search engine:
Capitalism Magazine- The Myth of The Peace-Loving Muslims
The Gospel of Mark: So Where Are All the Peace-Loving Muslims?
Rod Dreher: Not Peace-Loving After All

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BUT THERE IS HOPE

 
 "If My People"artist's print by Deanna Wiseman



Article by Danelle Carvell
Last week I gave you the bad news. This week I'm giving you more bad news, but I'm ending on a positive note. Let me start with the oil spill. Do you know that on April 19, the day before the Deepwater Herizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf, Fox News reported that the United States would no longer automatically stand with Israel in the UN Security Council decisions? Never before in US history has a president made such a declaration. Why is this relevant? The answer is found in an ancient promise God made to Abraham in the book of Genesis: "I will make you a great nation (Israel)... I will bless those who bless you. And I will curse those who curse you."

Our president's decision to no longer support Israel came one day before our nation experienced the worst environmental disaster in history. Coincidence? I don't think so. I believe that oil rig explosion was the hand and judgment of God. Some people believe that God is all about love and He would never send a curse. Yet all through the Bible are examples of God's judgment upon sinful people: the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, The seven plagues on Egypt, God's judgment on the Israelites, and the great flood that killed everyone except Noah and his family. In Ezekiel God says, "When a land sins against me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out my hand against it."

America is sinning against God. Our society greatly degenerates with each passing year. We are guilty of idolatry. Money is our God. We destroy our health in the mad pursuit of material things. Every 24 hours 4,000 babies are slaughtered. We export more pornography than any other nation. We have accepted deviant sexual choices that God never intended man to engage in. We are obsessed with sex. Television and movies are polluted with it. The music industry keeps lowering the bar with trashy videos of half-naked women striking suggestive poses. The moral decay of our country has reached the point of competing to see who can wear the least clothes and who can display the most offensive behavior.

Our most offensive behavior to God is that we've turned our backs on Him. We have deliberately pushed God and Jesus out of our lives. We pushed prayer out of our schools. We're removing all reference to God from public places. Recently, a North Carolina pastor was fired as honorary chaplain of the state house of representatives after he closed a prayer by invoking the name of Jesus. This country has declared war on Jesus. Christianity is the only religion that receives such all-encompassing hatred and persecution. What is it about Jesus that people find so offensive? Jesus was always helping people, always healing and uplifting them. Then he gave the ultimate sacrifice. He died on a cruel cross to pay a debt that wasn't even His (John 3:16).
Jesus represents everything good. And that's why everything evil hates Him so much.

To me it feels like America is circling the drain. How can we expect to escape God's judgment when we've turned our back on Israel and we have no fear of God. We've redefined God's meaning of marriage and family. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes. America is exactly as described in 2 Timothy: "...in the last days, perilous times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."

America has rejected God and the rules for living that the Bible teaches. As a result, God has removed His sovereign hand of protection from this nation. I believe we will see more natural disasters occur in the coming months and years. When I first saw video footage of the oil spill taken from the air, the oil wasn't black as I expected. It actually looked red. Seeing that made me think of this scripture in Revelation:"Then the second angel sounded and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed." Only God knows if the oil that's still spewing from the ocean floor is a warning about that prophetic judgment described in Revelation. God typically employs escalating judgments to prompt repentance.

No one can argue that disasters are escalating. According to the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, we've seen a 400% increase in natural disasters. Since the 1940's, natural disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and cyclones have increased dramatically and continue to occur more frequently (from between 0-50 per year in the 1940's to about 300-400 disasters per year in current times). This brings to mind another scripture. In Matthew when the disciples asked Jesus, "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars...nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places."

According to the Drudge Report 2010 quake sheet, 18 quakes shook seven different areas of the world today. The largest (a 6.5) occurred in Chile. We don't hear about all these earthquakes. We only hear about the big ones. I was shocked to discover how many earthquakes occur daily. They are increasing in both frequency and intensity. As for famines, a child dies from starvation every 30 seconds. And with all the turmoil in the Middle East, we hear rumors of wars every day. The leader of Iran has openly admitted that he wants to destroy Israel and the United States. He doesn't want to recognize Israel's right to exist. This was predicted in the book of Psalms: "They have said, "Come and let us cut them off from being a nation. That the name of Israel may be remembered no more."

Israel is surrounded by enemies. Its fiercest enemy, Iran, now has enough low grade uranium to make a nuclear bomb. We are in a life and death war with radical Muslims who are taught to destroy anyone who won't convert to Islam. Our president refuses to acknowledge that fact. Obama wants to give Jerusalem to the Palestinians (Muslims). But God gave Israel to the jewish people, and Obama is going against that holy eternal covenant. He's warring against God and He will surely lose.

So what can we do? The answer is found in 2 Chronicles: "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." We can't control what the president does. The only way we can turn this thing around is if we pray that our nation will return to a fear of God. Prayer is the only thing that will change the direction of this country. It's the only thing that can lift God's hand of judgment. We must pray for our churches to open their eyes and realize the times in which we live. We may not have a reason to celebrate, but we have every reason to pray. That is our only hope.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

NO REASON TO CELEBRATE: AMERICA'S MOVE TOWARD SOCIALISM

This past Fourth of July, I felt no reason to celebrate. Why celebrate Independence Day when our country is quickly moving toward socialism? The government controls all means of production and distribution in a socialist society. It can control our health care, insurance companies and food distribution. Currently the government holds various ownership stakes in over 500 private companies and several major banks. In a socialist society, the government can take anything it wants, including our freedoms.

Our religious freedom is already being squashed. Last year a pastor was questioned by San Diego County officials and threatened with fines over a bible study held in his home in Bonita, California. This year World Net Daily reported that police officers arrested four Christian missionaries as they exercised their right to free speech at an Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. The officers were apparently enforcing Islamic Law. A court in Wisconsin recently ruled in favor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group that's trying to eliminate the National Day of Prayer. Eliminating Christianity altogether can't be far behind, especially when our president has already declared that "we are no longer a Christian nation."

Our freedom of speech is also in question. Both the Hate Crimes Bill and the Homeland Security Bill contain ideas that could end our right to speak freely. Pro-Life supporters have already been labeled as "extremists." And with the Hate Crimes Act, Christians are one step closer to being arrested for saying, "Jesus is the only way." The latest attempt to squash our freedom of speech came on June 25, when the cybersecurity bill was approved by the Homeland Security Committee. It will give the president authority over the Internet. That bill will soon head to the Senate for a vote.

Why would Obama want to control the internet? Because that is where the truth is being told. You don't get the whole truth on most televised news because the managers of those broadcasts allow only news that fits their own world views.  Soon our president may be free to shut down any part of the Internet he chooses. And thanks to President Bush and his martial law legislation, Obama can also take total control of the government and country. He can have total dictatorial power. All he needs is one good catastrophic event to declare martial law. In C-SPAN videos posted on You Tube, California Representative Brad Sherman states that in private conversations, members of Congress were told there would be martial law in America if they refused to pass the bailout bill. Martial Law is a euphemism for military dictatorship and apparently it has already been threatened upon our citizens.

Does this sound like the America you know and love? The United States now fits the description of a police state, where the leader has his own treasury and his own army on the streets. (Check out America Is A Police State at World Net Daily). The bailout bill gave the president 100 billion dollars in discretionary spending, without oversight, and for the first time in 100 years an active duty military unit, NorthCom, is permanently assigned inside the US. (Check out Salon Radio: ACLU on the US Army's domestic deployment by Glenn Greenwald) This unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control, using weapons like tasers and rubber bullets. Our military can now be deployed against our own citizens.

Our national debt has reached over 13 trillion dollars (Check out www.usdebtclock.org). We are no longer a producer nation. We buy more from other countries than we produce. There's no way our children will enjoy the lifestyle that we've had because a large part of their incomes will be taken from them in taxes. Just finding a job could be their greatest challenge. In March 2009, The Center For Economic and Policy Research suggested that the unemployment rate is the highest recorded since the Great Depression.

All this doesn't sound like reasons to celebrate. It sounds more like reasons to fall on our knees and pray.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

WHY WE CAN'T LIVE SIMPLY ANYMORE

http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/feminism-related-issues/young-moms-work-for-free/

 By Danelle Carvell
 I often say that I was born in the wrong era. The 1940's and 50's seemed a simpler more pleasant time to be alive. I was born in the sixties, so I didn't get to experience those decades, but I do love to watch TV shows and movies that portray that time in history. Even the 1930's, a decade associated with The Great Depression, seems a time that I would enjoy more than the rushed and complicated lifestyle of 2010.

The older I get, the more I want to embrace simplicity. I find myself throwing things out and ridding myself of clutter. I'm more satisfied with a simple wardrobe, simple furniture, and simple ways of decorating my home. I'm learning that if I keep those things simple, I'll have more time for the people in my life. Maybe the reason those early decades seem so appealing is because people who lived in the 40's and 50's had fewer distractions that kept them from focusing on what's important--God and family.

Ask someone what the most important part of life is and you'll probably get answers like God, family, friends, etc. But the same people who give those answers often live lives that don't reflect their values. If they really loved God and family, wouldn't they create a lifestyle that allowed time for those things? Wouldn't they set selfishness and materialism aside and choose a simple way of life that gives them everything they need without unnecessary stress and financial pressure?

We seem to have lost our ability to live simply. Even newlyweds aren't satisfied with a simple home anymore. They choose opulent homes that require two incomes to maintain. Then when the children come, Mom is forced to look for replacement care for her children. She must go to work to help pay for the big house. Perhaps if she and her husband had chosen a simpler way of life, she could stay at home and be a mom instead of a breadwinner. Materialism pushes God and family from our lives.

In a post feminist era, my opinion isn't always popular. Yet I know examples of women who wouldn't have to work yet they choose a career over caring for their children. They try being home with baby for a while and then decide that it's not for them. They can't handle the mundane tasks and the unglamorous role of being stuck at home with their own children. Selfishness pushes God and family from our lives.

Materialism and selfishness are two distractions that weren't so prevalent among women in the early decades of the 1900's. Those women were more satisfied with simple things--a simple home, a simple lifestyle, and simply being a mom. Then along came the feminist movement to convince women that they deserve more than a mundane life of motherhood. Feminists convinced women to forget what's at home and make a mark on the world. They told us we need to control our environment and control our marketability so we can be independent. The feminist movement led women out of their homes, away from their children and into the workplace. Feminism pushes God and family from our lives.

I'm not saying that no woman should work outside the home. I'm saying that the highest calling for a wife is to be a helpmate to her husband, and the highest calling for a mother is to care for her children. I know there are innocent examples of women who have no choice but to leave their children in day care so they can go to work and make money. But there are also examples of young mothers who work due to their own selfishness, materialism and feminist beliefs. They're not satisfied with a simple life of marriage and motherhood even when their husbands encourage them to stay home.

Today, women feel a tremendous amount of pressure to justify being at home for their families. "How can you afford to stay at home and not work?" is a question people boldly ask.  But no woman has to justify filling the role God created her to fill as a wife or mother.  She doesn't have to justify that to anyone, not even in a bad economy.  If a husband or family chooses for a wife or mother to be at home instead of the workplace, and if they're not living above the financial means of one income, then I believe God will bless that decision.  They don't need society's blessings.

Husbands might be surprised at how little money their working wives are actually making when they have children in daycare.  The link at the top of this page tells a story about the frustrations of young working mothers.  Be sure to check it out and read the comments underneath.   It's a story that many women are living out each day.  In the book 1/2 Price Living, one couple named Suzie and Ben discovered that by working full time with one child in daycare, Suzie was only making seventeen dollars a month.

"The main culprit for the financial failure of a second income is a tax system that savagely penalizes second incomes," the book claims.  A higher tax bracket, the cost of gas and wear and tear on her vehicle, the cost of daycare, buying lunch at work, spending more on a professional appearance (wardrobe, manicures, hairstyles), spending money on convenience food because she has no time to cook, spending money on guilt gifts because she can't give her children enough time, and just spending money unnecessarily because she has extra money.

All the above things must be subtracted from her income to discover her true income.  Some working moms who think they're making 15 dollars an hour are actually making less than five dollars an hour.  They don't realize that they could stay home and save that much from their husband's income and be no worse off.  I save eighty to one hundred dollars a week just by clipping coupons and searching for bargains.  That's like earning eighty dollars a week.  I also find other ways to make and save money at home and I see no difference in our standard of living compared to when I was working full time outside the home.   It's a simple answer, but who sits down and does the math? 

I guess we can't do anything simply. We can't even simply drive. We have to be chatting on a cell phone or texting while driving. I truly can't believe that talking on a phone while driving is even legal. The task takes one hand off the wheel and your mind off the road. I wonder how many lives have been cut short all because someone couldn't wait to make or receive a phone call. Driving is serious business. One wrong move could kill someone. And all it takes is a second to make that wrong move. Is a phone conversation worth the risk of killing someone or being killed?

If we want to simplify our lives, we need to get rid of the distractions that are cluttering our lives. Technology is good, but not when it's so much a part of our lives that we can't focus on daily tasks or give people our full attention. Selfishness, materialism, feminism, and technology are just some of the clutter we've allowed to overtake us. We need to get back to the basics of life: caring for our children, respecting and loving our husbands, and most importantly seeking God for strength. Women have lost their identity in a self-absorbed, materialistic culture polluted with feminist ideas. I don't like the culture I live in, but I don't have to conform to it. I choose to live a life of simplicity:God first, family second, my own self-interests a distant third. That's the life we were meant to live as wives and mothers. And only we can reclaim it.