Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hope Deferred

The other night, I was talking w/ my roommates here about how much my trust in leadership has really been kicked around. I'm not talking about just everyday stuff, but I'm talking about big monumental things. I hope and pray i'm the only one who feels like this right now, but a large part of me is just fed up with the lack of a lot of integrity in leadership. Whether its in the church, of which I'm apart of, or in our government, which I follow kinda closely because of my interest in government.

There have been a lot of scandals in the church world nowadays. In the past 40 years especially, a lot of leaders have 'fallen'. They've fallen due to sexual issues, financial issues and other issues. Granted, I know religious leaders are people just like anyone else and they have their short comings. And I have mine so I have no stones to through at that. But one characteristic of it is are we going to learn from those mistakes, or do we sweep them under the rug and act like these problems don't exist. I say all this because frankly, it doesn't help for us to ignore the issues. That only helps in trying to 'win souls'.

One question I ask to people is "How good is your word?" Can your word be trusted, or do you just speak things flippantly and then conveniently forget about them?

In the governmental realm... would someone PLEASE get a clue? We've made some folks into superstars. I don't know if we realize this, but they're in that position to SERVE us. Congress people are there to SERVE us, not have their lives handed to them on silver platters and pay $90 for a meal (that's just an exaggeration). That is an abuse of my tax dollars! I wish we would be able to have easier access to them...

(If you'll note, I didn't give names. It isn't my desire to single folks out, but I wanted to address a principle instead of a person.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Myth of Palestine

I want to start this note off to say that God loves the Arab people just like everyone. Jesus died for their souls as well. I have friends in Arab nations and I know that God wants them more than they could ever want Him. With that in mind, I read a brief article lately entitled "The Myth of Palestine". So I'm going to put it on here for all ya'll to read. Enjoy.

The Myth of Palestine
What happened to the “Palestinian” Empire? Should the “Refugees” have a ‘right of return’? Are the Jews occupying Palestinian Land? Let’s look a little closer at the facts!
In light of the “apartheid” accusation toward Israel over the so-called plight of the Palestinians’ loss of their country to Israeli aggression and ‘occupation’, here are several basic questions that one should be able to answer if, in fact, “Palestine” ever did exist.
1. When was it founded and by whom?
2. What were its borders?
3. What was its capital?
4. What constituted the basis of its economy?
5. What was its form of government?
6. What was the language of the country of Palestine?
7. What was the name of its currency?
8. Choose any date in history – what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the U.S dollar, German mark, British pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date?
9. Since there is no such country today, what caused its demise, and when did it occur?
10. When exactly was it a proud nation and what was it soo proud of?
11. Here is the most important question of all: if the people (erroneously called Palestinians) are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over – or rather thrown out of – the Arab world, and truly possess a unique ethnic identity that gives them a right for self-determination, why did they never try to become an independent and cohesive group (the PLO terrorist organization) until the Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War – a war they initiated?

There truth is…
- There was never an Arab country of Palestine, and Palestinian-Arabs were never a nation.
- Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab state or province. (it is not even in the Qur’an).
- In all of recorded history, only one People have ever made a country (others named) “Palestine” a sovereign nation-state with Jerusalem as its capital… The Jews.

(Adapted from “A Japanese Perspective on the Palestinians” www.bridgesforpeace.com. Reprinted from JVT March/April 2006.) May/June 2007 Jewish Voice Today, Pg. 21

Monday, March 9, 2009

Biltmore Estate

Well, this past Saturday, I was priviledged to go and tour the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. My parents came into town for a super quick tour (they were heading home to PA from Florida with the Stoner's) and so they decided to stop in and see me and then go to Biltmore).

Biltmore Estate is absolutely huge. I mean, its only 175,000 sq. ft. of a house. It sits on a meager 8,000 acres of property (www.biltmore.com). It is a tourist trap and therefore, everything is really expensive (go figure, huh?). We did the tour in about 2 hours. They have headphones that you listen to as you go from room to room. I had a good time, considering that my parents paid my way. I would go up again though. And do the audio tour b/c you'd probably miss out a lot without them. I mean, your already paying at least $35 to do the tour, you might as well pay the extra money to understand it all.

After doing the tour, we went to the winery and did the wine tasting. I had never done one before, but it was fun. I wouldn't be able to tell you any of the names of wine that I tried, but I did learn that I'm not really missing much by not normally drinking the stuff. I'm not opposed to further drinking of wine, but I don't make it a regular thing in my life. I'll stick w/ Cheerwine and Mountain Dew.

If your into history and like to tour homes and like a lot of walking, I'd recommend you doing the tour. If you don't like any of those things, don't do it. Plain and simple.