Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nehemiah Had the Right Idea

Prayer is the Place to Begin

A sign on a heavy equipment dealership in Fishersville, Virginia says it clearly: Pray for recovery.

We have often relied so much on our own self-reliance that we face the problems before us with great anxiety. The actions of a handful of men in Washington and in corporate offices have had consequences that have been beyond our ability to overcome.

Nehemiah faced great problems and opposition when he set out to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, yet he began wth prayer. He won the monitary support of a hostle king, overcame opposition close to home and led each family in rebuilding the section of wall by their house.

If that sounds like what we face today, join in prayer.

40 Days of Prayer is a call to fervent prayer for our elections. We are in desperate days as a nation as the spiritual, moral and financial fabric of our nation is disintegrating around us. Believers need to pray as never before. America's National Prayer Committee and its member organizations are putting out a call to pray 40 days prior to the elections (September 28 - November 6). Here you will find information and links to other prayer initiatives that are focusing on this election. We are not endorsing these initiatives, but making you aware of them. Our intent is to stay far away from anything that looks like an endorsement or movement for any particular candidate or party. What we are asking for is the intervention of G-d on behalf of our nation.

The United States is clearly a nation in trouble. A battered economy, political divisiveness, the culture wars, racial uneasiness, and a sidelined church, provide the dry tinder for an inflammatory national election in November of 2012. Many stake their hopes or fears on the outcome.

While believing in and encouraging the importance of exercising our right to vote, we also call the Christian Church in America to do that which is even more critical in these days... to pray. The seriousness of our day requires an intensity of prayer that is unprecedented. Accordingly, we call for 40 days and nights of unrelenting intercession on behalf of our nation, immediately preceding the Nov.6th election (September 28 - November 6).

Join Us For 40 Days of Prayer [click to read].

Friday, September 28, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XL

All The President's Mentors

The 'other' weekly news magazine is spotlighting Mitt Romney's LDS Faith this week. What does his Mormon Faith tell us about his vision and values. Since most Conservatives already know Glenn Beck, also a member of the Latter Day Saints Church,  don't think Mitt has any surprises to offer here.

But we at THYME are prone to venture sometimes where angels fear to tread. We wondered why the MSM didn't examine the President's beliefs and the people who shaped them. Fortunately, Denesh D'Sousa, a man who shares a similar upbringing as Barack Hussein Obama, is here to help.

In the movie: 2012, Obama's America, D'Sousa traces Obama's roots in his Anticolonialist Father's Dream, his boyhood in Indonesia with Stepfather Lolo, and his growing up in a culture quite different than most Americans.

Barack Obama spent twenty years under the teaching of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, student of James Cone. Cone's 'Black Liberation Theology' is a sort of race-based Marxism in a Christian wrapper. 'Hope and Change' leans in a Socialist/Marxist direction. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.

Obama launched his campaign in the living room of Bill Ayers, who he says is 'just a guy in the neighborhood.' Ayers is no 'Mister Rogers' though, having planned to blow up a number of government buildings in his 'wilder days.' 'Hope and Change' has a bit of Olinsky radicalism to it. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.

Mr. Obama's neigborhood isn't all that shabby either, thanks to his association with Tony Rezco. The Obamas own a pretty nice house, but 'Hope and Change' seems a bit like the 'Chicago Way.' The mainstream media does not seem concerned.

Mr. Obama's Keynsian economic policies are rolling up large amounts of government debt. 'Hope and Change' looks a bit like Weimar Germany. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.

Mr. Obama's publicists want to make him out to be the hero of the common man. If a Republican played this much golf and took so many vacations he would be the subject of much scrutiny. 'Hope and Change' looks a lot like the worst kind of elitism. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.

America is at a crossroads. Four more years of Obama policy could reduce her to a mighty nation that once was. Mr. Obama loves to apologize for America. Does 'Hope and Change' understand the precious legacy our ancestors bled to give us? The mainstream media does not seem concerned.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

2016, Obama's America

The Movie You Must See Before You Vote

Denesh D'Souza, shown here interviewing the President's brother George Obama, presents a scholarly explanation of who our President really is and who influences his policies.


The  Full-length Version [click to view] of the film appeared on Netflix Saturday morning. You may view it with a Netflix account or at a theatre near you if at all possible. It is well worth the money and the artists who made it are deserving of our support. One viewer writes:

"I expected a movie that would be a "rant" about Obama. But, instead, it was a well-researched documentary from a man with a similar background who sees the world from a broader perspective than most Americans--much as Obama probably sees it having lived in Indonesia and have an African father.The movie explains the philosophical influence of Obama's father through interviews with friends of his father. It also delves into the mentors that Obama has in his youth. No doubt, the influence Obama has had on the U.S. reflects this view of a European country, which is essentially what America is, and how we interact with the rest of the world. The premise of the film is how America will change by 2016 during a second obama term based on the decisions he has made and his underlying philosophy that has become more apparent as he is in office. In effect, the military cuts, heavy indebtedness, philosophy outlined in speeches in foreign countries, dislike of Israel, etc. are considered from the world view of Obama's father and his mentors who were largely communist, socialist, far left ideologues or generally anti-American and anti-white. The film is well-researched and, while much of the information is available, has not been provided to the voters in America. Without a doubt, any voter should see this movie before the next presidential election before deciding how to case a ballot."


Thursday, September 20, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXXIX

The Case for Optimism

Somehow the picture of Bill Clinton Holding the World in His Hands [click to read] on the cover of the 'other' weekly news magazine this week doesn't make me feel very optimistic. TIME presents, by way of Clinton, five ideas that are changing the world.

First he mentions cell phones. More people in an impoverished nation like Haiti have phones than have access to banking terminals. An app. lets people manage their money from their phones even without a bank account. Health services and vaccines are becoming more available according to Clinton. Give a lot of credit to economies of scale in vaccine production but remember also people like Cindy Thacker, who fought to provide decent health care to the children of Santa Cruz. Aids is being overcome, but dirty water still kills unseen scores of children around the world.

Clinton goes on to tout green economies and the sale of carbon credits as economic development. Women are doing better in Rwanda, according to Clinton, but he neglects to mention the return to Sixth Century conditions in 'Arab Spring' nations. He says justice and cooperation are occurring in lands that were in conflict a decade ago. The Middle-East is a very dangerous place right now. Somehow Bill Clinton fails to convince me...

The Real Case for Optimism
By Lynn R. Mitchell (SWAC Girl)

A 22-year-old, the youthful future of America, shared her thoughts about the controversy surrounding Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments at a closed event that was secretly recorded and released to the left-leaning Mother Jones magazine.

Romney's comments, being heralded by liberals as proof that Romney is out of touch with everyday Americans, actually do the exact opposite. They show how in touch Romney is with his understanding and truthful assessment of what is going on with America.

The 22-year-old started working at a grocery store when she was 16 and her experience from that job was part of what helped define her conservative values. With permission, here are her thoughts on the issue:

"Romney saying 47% of voters are dependent on the government in some way or another doesn't seem like a stretch to me, and neither does saying they feel like "victims" who are "entitled" to those benefits.

I used to work in a grocery store on a not-so-desirable end of town, and something like 60-70% of our business came from patrons on some sort of government aid, such as food stamps or WIC. I worked there for just under a year, but I only remember a handful of people who actually seemed like they truly needed the government's help.

Many people on food stamps would have almost $100 worth of beer and cigarettes in their transaction (which they paid for with cash or a debit card). I distinctly remember one customer come through with a conveyor belt full of steaks, chips, sodas, hamburger buns, and of course beer. I told him it looked like he was having a party - and he was. He said he hosted his neighborhood block party every year, and he always bought the food because it was "free."

Some of you may know that WIC tells you specifically what you can buy (i.e. sliced cheese vs. block cheese). One lady and her husband were so mad that they could only buy 1% milk (they wanted 2%) that they threw the gallon of 1% at me (and missed), then stormed out of the store and did donuts in the parking lot. Another time at a different grocery store where I was purchasing food, some guy asked me to buy him cigarettes. In exchange, he'd spend whatever the cigarettes cost on my groceries, using his food stamp card (I declined the offer).

All of this is to say, based on my experience, 47% of voters on some type of government aide does not seem far fetched to me, and a portion of those people that I've seen definitely seem to feel "entitled" to their "free" money.

Yes, Romney's words may not have been eloquent, but so what? Truth hurts. In fact, I found an article that says 49.1% of households were on some sort of government aid in 2011. The Left can get as bent out of shape as it wants, but facts are facts.

A purported Benjamin Franklin quote: "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."


This opinion is from one youthful segment of the population that understands the consequences of an unbalanced economic base. Many others agree. Read more at SWAC Girl [click to read].

It's time for honest dialogue about America's finances. Mitt Romney -- and a 22-year-old in Virginia -- are doing that.

Do Your Part

If You Can Work, Please Work [click to read]
By Pastor Chuck Balsamo

"America is treading water (much more than we know it). We should definitely care for our disabled and elderly, but we can no longer carry the able bodied/able minded dead-beats on our shoulders… we are sinking." -- Chuck Balsamo

The Fallacy of Redistribution [click to read]
By Thomas Sowell

"We have all heard the old saying that giving a man a fish feeds him only for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Redistributionists give him a fish and leave him dependent on the government for more fish in the future. If the redistributionists were serious, what they would want to distribute is the ability to fish, or to be productive in other ways. Knowledge is one of the few things that can be distributed to people without reducing the amount held by others. That would better serve the interests of the poor, but it would not serve the interests of politicians who want to exercise power, and to get the votes of people who are dependent on them." -- Thomas Sowell


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The View from Trayfoot Mountain

Sunday Afternoon Hike to Panoramic View

Buzzard Rock
I walked up Trayfoot Mountain from the Valley Sunday and as the cloud cover rolled away the light began to play on the next mountain.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Children of the Middle-East

A Celebration of Imago Dei from a Church Mural

Girl of Iran.

Boy from Iraq.

Girl from Egypt. Details of a Mural by Laney Riley and Bob Kirchman.

Looking beyond the news, and praying for the peace of this region, it helps if we remember that the world is primarily populated by beautiful individuals, not idealogies.

Friday, September 14, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXXVIII

'Agents of Outrage,' Age of Outrage

The 'other' weekly news magazine this week features the cover story: 'Agents of Outrage,' actually musing:

"A chain of violence from Cairo to Benghazi raises the question, Did the Arab Spring make the Middle East more dangerous?"

With the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Lybia, Christopher Stevens, the question is really just how dangerous has the Middle-East become and how do we address that cold reality? The fact is, this danger has been brewing for a long time. Sadly, many people who long for peace are caught in the crossfire as radical Islamists seek to take the world back to the Sixth Century with Twentieth Century weapons. In the Seventeenth Century the Ottoman Empire laid Siege to Vienna. They were turned back on September 11, 1683 by Polish forces who helped save the city. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson had to fight the Barbary Pirates of Tripoli. History has a way of repeating itself.

Thirty-three years ago this present conflict actually began. Sayyad Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini ascended to power in Iran. The Shah, Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavī, whom we considered an ally, was deposed. Khomeini took power as militants held U.S. Embassy staff hostage. Issuing a fatwa calling for the death of British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, the Ayatolla's rise eerily mirrored events occurring in the Middle-East today. The Mayor of Tehran then was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The year was 1979 and My Mother was teaching physics labs at Howard Community College. During the Iranian hostage standoff she befriended a yound Iranian student who was understandably afraid and confused by the whole situation. Her friendship certainly helped this young man through a difficult time and taught us that we should always remember that the world is primarily populated by beautiful individuals, not idealogies.

The Shah of Iran, not unlike Hosni Mubarak, was a leader friendly to Western nations and a supporter of modern ideas... to a point. Religious minorities were somewhat protected in the Sha's Iran and Mubarak's Egypt. Though both men have a mixed record on personal liberties and surpression, they generally presided over societies that were stable and presented the possibility of reform. Today Sharia law in the region threatens to undermine basic human liberties, ushered in by a revolution seeking Democracy.

The U.S. really has only one dependable ally in the region now, Israel, yet the narrative of Israel as oppressor persists in the media and the academy. Binyamin Netanyahu is one world leader who's level head is most needed now more than ever. Our President's failure to meet with Netanyahu is deplorable, given the serious state of affairs in the world today. Our prayer is that the best minds in leadership might restore stability and peace to a region that has for centuries seen far too little of either.

Revival, The Answer to Our World Crisis
by Chuck Balsamo

"The trouble in the world today, the stagnation, the moral desolation in America... is not due to the strength of humanism, it's because of the weakness of evangelism. People don't get born again when they come to the alter. They come dammed and they leave it dammed. They're not born. People can't be born in 5 minutes, put off 10 million sins... change the way of life, put off the old man, put on the new man... by just standing there in tears." -Leonard Ravenhill

I just translated these words from a 1989 interview with the late Ravenhill.

...He spoke of the need for a great outpouring of God in our churches. He called for attendance and passion in prayer meetings... and the need for a sweeping revival in America and throughout the world.

If they needed it then, we need it more today.

Dear God, use me (and the tribe I lead, and the others who share our dream) at the front lines, to give America her greatest awakening of all.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering September 11, 2001

The Attacks on America that Changed Our World

"No one here forgets that so many at the Pentagon never even made it to a hospital. Close friends, bosses and co-workers are dead. The Nation has, in many ways, begun to move on. Funerals have been held. War has been declared and fought. Suspects are being pursued. But in the hospital, life goes slower. In all, they were just seven men and women, not the many dozens or hundreds that doctors had expected. When Mike Kurtz first came to the emergency room burn unit on September 11, he didn't recognize his wife--a tiny body completely wrapped in bandages, connected to a bunch of tubes. But he soon discovered that it was Louise--petit, precise, loyal Louise. Louise, who is a size 8 and loves pink carnations, the color blue and Nara Roberts books." -- Steven Welch

When I read the story of Louise Kurtz, as published in the Washington Post, I found a hero. Mike Kurtz lovingly cared for his wife as she endured reconstructive surgery and a long season of rehabilitation.

"Everyday I ask her four questions. Are you breathing okay? Are you in pain? Are you hot? Are you cold? I ask those four questions because I can do something about those things. Those are the only things I can control for her." -- Mike Kurtz

Steven Welch has More [click to read].


Friday, September 7, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXXVII

One Nation, Subsidized!

The 'other' weekly news magazines.

The 'other' weekly news magazine joins 'Newsweek' this week in a chorus of the message that 'Big Government' is now an essential part of our lives:

"The sun is shining on Miami Beach, and I wake up in subsidized housing. I throw on a T-shirt made of subsidized cotton, brush my teeth with subsidized water and eat cereal made of subsidized grain. Soon the chaos begins, two hours of pillow forts, dance parties and other craziness with two hyper kids and two hyper Boston terriers, until our subsidized nanny arrives to watch our 2-year-old. My wife Cristina then drives to her subsidized job while listening to the subsidized news on public radio. I bike our 4-year-old to school on public roads, play tennis on a public court…"

Yes, we're becoming Socialist Britian now. TIME proudly delivers what Ed Driscoll calls: "an article-length version of Obama's 'You Didn't Build It' speech."

The same issue proclaims the Democrats the 'optimists' now. No, THYME, Paul Ryan is the optimist. He believes in the promise of America and wants to save it! Denesh D'Souza makes the point that Anti-colonialist Obama is happy to downsize America.

Every family knows that when you've got a lot of expenses, you cut out the cable tv. Have you seen how much 'big bird' licensed merchandise is out there? Big Bird can pay his own way. Also, if you write for the 'other' weekly news magazine, I'll bet you can afford your own child care! Your royalty check is bigger than mine!

Those roads? They are a legitimate public expense that I thought came out of my fuel taxes. Schools are funded by my property and sales taxes. Hey, we pay YOU before you pay us! At least that's how it is supposed to work.

But families also know something else. If you are borrowing against your house, you do NOT want to devalue it. Obama's downsized America coupled with record debt is a disaster in the making.


Finally, if you are in a financial crisis, you seek new ways to make money instead of relying heavily on borrowing. Domestic oil and gas reserves await tapping. The Keystone Pipeline needs to be built. Subsidizing South American oil production while stifling our own is, in my mind, not very optimistic.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue XXXVI

What Obama Knows Now...
...and What He Needs to Know Now!

The time was sometime in the 1970s. A National Geographic team was exploring the wonders of St. Petersburg, Russia (then still known as Leningrad). Years of propaganda had, no doubt, made the people of the city suspicious of the Americans. Then the unexpected happened.

Some older women ran forward and hugged and kissed the Americans. They remembered the time in World War II where the Americans were their liberators. Usually in the horrors of war, foreign armies are not fondly remembered, but on that day some young journalists learned an important lesson.

America may not be a faultless nation, indeed her history is usually pretty honest about her failings, but America IS a nation that looks beyond her institutions to find resources for managing human affairs. That young kids in green uniforms treated those who's country they occupied with kindness is a tribute to their Mothers and not to any form of central planning.

This is the America that Barack Obama seems to have missed as he was growing up in Indonesia, being mentored by Communist Frank Marshall Davis, and sleeping through the James Cone inspired sermons of Jeremiah Wright. Young Obama did not read enough Toqueville. He probably read too much Bill Ayers. The 'other' weekly news magazine features "What Obama Knows Now." No doubt, he's surprised by the resilience of a dream not given him by his Father!

Last week the staff of THYME viewed the movie 2016, Obama's America. Denesh D'Souza shares a lot of Barack Obama's early life experiences... both of them growing up in a British colony and coming to America. D'Souza gives some pretty good insight into Obama's life and the ideas that shaped his ideas. D'Souza recognizes the unique nature of America, Obama's upbringing prevents him from seeing it as more than another white colonial power.

The fact that Americans actually were sucessful in casting OFF Colonialism is lost on Obama. In fact, D'Souza shows how Obama thinks his greatest accomplishment will be to reduce America's strength. Because he fails to see what is good about America's uniqueness, Obama seeks to reduce her influence.

The results of this 'accomplishment' are a weakened economy and more unemployed Americans. D'Souza documents how Obama has tipped us towards Greece with debt, stifled domestic energy production and actually encouraged South American nations to drill for oil he has prohibited us from seeking.

The President seems to spend a lot of time lately deriding the successful. The problem is he looks to them for the revenue to increase his programs. He spends a lot of time on college campuses, where Marxist professors have 'fronted' for his act. He promises more student loans and 'free' contraceptives. Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke is one of his most eloquent spokespersons.

The problem comes when it is time to get a job and pay off those promises. Our debt held by foreign nations has skyrocketed. Innovators are scared to start or expand businesses. As Paul Ryan explains, the possibility of living in your childhood bedroom staring at faded Obama posters is becoming a stark reality for far too many young people today.