Presidents’ Day

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”—Jan. 8, 1790 “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” —George Washington

I, for one, am extremely grateful to live in a country where we elect our president, and I am happy to have the humble responsibilities of trying to be honest and faithful and of praying for our leaders rather than having to figure out how to do everything myself!! Can you imagine how hard it is to BE the president? What a grueling job! I am thankful for every man who has taken on such an overwhelming responsibility.

Pray “for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Tim. 2:2)

A Happy Thought for Sunday Morning

1.      Christ beside me, Christ before me, 
	Christ behind me King of my heart; 
	Christ within me, Christ below me, 
	Christ above me never to part. 

2.	Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, 
	Christ all around me shield in strife; 
	Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting, 
	Christ in my rising light of my life.

3.	Christ beside me, Christ before me, 
	Christ behind me King of my heart; 
	Christ within me, Christ below me, 
	Christ above me never to part. 
Text: St. Patrick's Breastplate; adapt. by James Quinn 

38th Anniversary…and Looking Forward to What?!?

The story is told of Earl and Bubba, who were quietly sitting in a boat fishing. Suddenly Bubba says, “Think I’m gonna divorce the wife – she ain’t spoke to me in over 2 months.” Earl ponders thoughtfully and then drawls, “Better think it over………….women like that are hard to find.”
Today is our 38th anniversary! Alan was in his usual hurry, so after we got up at 5:30 a.m., shared a devotional time, and I fed him breakfast, he was off to the race track. If Alan still has any energy after he’s done with work and radiation, we’ll go out for a simple dinner… maybe to Panera. Just to hedge my bets, I’m going to celebrate by going out to lunch with Julia and then possibly over to visit a dear friend who recently returned from Mayo Clinic. I know we’re super busy now, but I think busy beats bored…You know, I’m really thankful that Alan is still able to enjoy working hard, and I  hope we don’t retire for a long time! 🙂
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12)

Radiation Treatments

Alan’s radiation treatments are nearly half over. He says that cancer is highly over-rated, and I’d believe it. His radiation is going “very well” considering, although he comes home absolutely beat at night, and about the most energetic we get is dinner, a little music, a little walk, and maybe a little video. We’ve seen more videos this past year than in the previous 10 years, I’ll bet, and we’re running low on great ideas. If you have any super favorites, please let me know!

Although we have no clue what the course of our life will turn out to be, I am glad we can rest peacefully in the promise of God that if we repent and turn in faith to Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will indeed have a “safe landing.” What a hope!

Jesus taught: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

“Thomas saith unto him, ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?’

“Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’.”

National Budget or National Bankruptcy

“The President ordered the cabinet to cut a $100 million from the $3.5 trillion federal budget. I’m so impressed by this sacrifice that I have decided to do the same thing with my personal budget. I spend about $2000 a month on groceries, household expenses, medicine, utilities, etc, but it’s time to get out the budget cutting ax, go line by line through my expenses, and cut back! I’m going to cut my spending at exactly the same ratio -1/35,000 of my total budget.  After doing the math, it looks like instead of spending $2000 a month; I’m going to have to cut that number by six cents! Yes, I’m going to have to get by with $1999.94, but that’s what sacrifice is all about.  I’ll just have to do without some things, that are, frankly, luxuries.”

Actually, I’m not the author of the above note, but it does express our national frustration. Are you praying for our leaders as they battle out the budget? I know it’s a somewhat overwhelming task, but on the other hand, our nation is in financial crisis, and if we don’t respond with drastic, fiscally responsible measures, I believe we’ll leave our kids a heritage of bankruptcy.

And, how about in our personal lives? As the family financial manager, I’m trying ever so hard to “hold the line” and only spend what we have saved up. After three years of trying, we’ve finally got the money together to resurface our floors upstairs! Joel is helping. Two parents, seven kids, two cats, a big dog, and lots of friends have (at more than at long last) done in our beige carpeting. Goodbye dust and spills; hello clean floors (hopefully)! But, we’ve had to endure a few years of embarrassment over the way our carpets look. I think it’s time our government endured some years of embarrassment over the fact that we can’t do everything we’d like to do either.  Come on, Mr. President, and Congress, it’s  time to CLEAN HOUSE!!

“Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8)

Happy Valentine’s Day to You!

“It’s not what someone says, but how they make you feel. It’s not what you say, but how you make others feel…”

(Cec Murphy)

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Do they celebrate it in South Korea and other countries around the world? At any rate, as we get older,  Alan and I are more determined than ever to appreciate each day we have, realizing that life and love are precious gifts that should never be taken for granted.

Micheal took this picture for us one night when we were visiting them in Philadelphia. I spent two hours this morning sorting through all my digital pictures to make a facebook album for (and in honor of) Alan in order to do something to surprise him! I hope he likes it. 🙂

Do you have any special Valentine traditions? We always used to make home made cards and have a party, but I’m guessing that may not happen tonight. We are getting new hardwood flooring upstairs, and the house is totally torn apart…and may be for 4-5 weeks. However, Alan and I are taking Stephen and Joel out for dinner. So…it may not be quite the same as a warm, wonderful, giddy kid party, but it will still be warm and wonderful. I am so thankful for Alan, and for all my big and little valentines! And, I’m thankful for the Lord who made and loves us all, and for each person who reads this blog! May the Lord bless your life with deep and lasting love, and may you have an especially cheery Valentine’s Day!

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (I John 4:7).

What do You Think of Mubarak and the Turmoil in Egypt?

Have you been following all the news about the trouble in Egypt lately? I’ve really not known what to make of everything, but I found the following article very helpful and so am including just a few key excerpts from it that make sense to me.
by DAVID DOLAN, a Jerusalem-based author and journalist who has lived and worked in Israel since 1980:
“…the fact that Hosni Mubarak’s police and security forces are rife with corruption has been evident to me for many years.  Does this mean I have been advocating the ouster of his autocratic regime?  Not at all.

“…it took a long time for American and European government officials to acknowledge that Muslim fundamentalist groups were serious when they contended that Islam must and would prevail over the West in the struggle for world domination.  The same was true for most academics and media pundits.

…I also pointed to the questionable contention that ‘democracy’ would be better for the Iraqi people than autocracy, noting that fairly free elections in Algeria in 1991 had been hijacked by Islamic parties who openly vowed to ditch such elections after using them to rise to power.  Mirroring this in 2006, Hamas cynically used Palestinian elections, which were part of the Oslo peace process that they fiercely opposed, to come to power.  It is simply a fact that a majority of voters in most Arab countries are observant Muslims.  This reality will always lead to the triumph of anti-Western forces in uncontrolled Arab elections, period.  It is also behind the escalating exodus of Arab Christians from Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian-controlled territories and elsewhere in the turbulent region.
Today, we see a growing chorus of American and other western leaders calling for Hosni Mubarak to leave office right away.  The likelihood that his quick removal will only lead to the ultimate ascension to power of the fiercely anti-American and anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood movement is largely ignored, or at least downplayed.  Many acknowledge that the radical Islamic group is currently the only organized opposition political movement in Egypt.  That being the case, the rush to dump Mubarak before other more secular parties can be functionally established is simply absurd, in my estimation.  We are almost inviting the Caliphate-seeking Muslim Brothers to take over Egypt—a recipe that spells disaster for both Israel and the West.
Should the United States and other allies of Mubarak have pushed harder for real governmental reforms and more personal freedoms in Egypt?  Without a doubt.  However in their defense, most officials presumably understood that to do so in quick fashion was potentially opening a can of worms that would not in the end bring positive changes to the Egyptian people, but actually had the great potential to produce an even more oppressive, anti-Western regime, as may well be the ultimate outcome now.
We are told by the media that the marchers in Egypt have been acting spontaneously and are not organized by any one political party or force.  Again, is it a just a coincidence that the initial flood of anti-government demonstrators burst onto the streets on January 28 following Friday Muslim services held in mosques all over Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere?  Yes, many of the protesters have been young, Facebook-using moderate Muslims, along with Western-leaning Coptic Christians and secular Egyptians, especially in the early days of the revolt.  However the vast majority today are clearly observant Muslims who despise Israel and resent the powerful USA based mainly on their faith.  The same is true with most of the anti-government protestors in Jordan, Yemen and elsewhere.
…Will Egypt eventually break its peace treaty with Israel?  I suspect that in the end, the American-funded and trained army will not allow this to take place.  I noted in my latest book, Israel in Crisis, that Egypt is not listed in Psalm 83 as being among a host of regional Arab powers that will attempt to destroy Israel in the prophesied end days, while Jordan, Lebanon and Syria are mentioned, along with the Palestinians.  While some are now saying that Egypt will participate in the Gog and Magog war prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39, I disagree.  If the prophet had intended to pinpoint Egypt it would have been named as such, being a very distinct and powerful nation in ancient times.  The listing of “Ethiopia” instead implies a power to the south of Egypt, which is probably today’s Islamic fundamentalist stronghold of Sudan, located in part of the territory where ancient Ethiopia stood.
Whatever the case, we can expect Islamic fundamentalist groups around the world to carry on with their intensifying jihad to topple pro-Western governments, with the ultimate goal being the destruction of Israel and the takeover of European countries and the United States.  With that in mind, Western government officials need to tread very carefully as they help bring change to Egypt and the wider Middle East.  And of course, everyone needs our prayers, especially the Arab and Iranian Christian minorities who are caught in the middle of the dramas swirling around them.”
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:19-20).