Sunday, December 28, 2014

Psalm 147, A Song of Praise

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord.[a]
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
    but casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
    make music to our God on the harp.

He covers the sky with clouds;
    he supplies the earth with rain
    and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle
    and for the young ravens when they call.

10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.

12 Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
    praise your God, Zion.

13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
    and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
    and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.

15 He sends his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
    and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
    Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
    he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

19 He has revealed his word to Jacob,
    his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation;
    they do not know his laws.[b]

Praise the Lord.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

@ Dump de Blasio---NYPD Cops Turn Their Backs On the Mayor's Eulogy At Executed Cop Ramos's Funeral

This has never been a racial  issue.  It's always been a Rule of Law vs anarchy issue.

God bless these brave men and women who put themselves in harms way every day to protect the citizens of our cities, states and nation. They need our continuing prayers and support.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Half-Truth In Movie 'Unbroken'---Why Did Angelina Jolie Leave Out the Pivotal Conversion of Louis Zamperini's Amazing Conversion Story?---Count Me Out of Another Godless Hollywood Half-Life



Angelina  Jolie, a woman clearly at the top of her game, probably didn't tell Lous Zamperini's  real and full story in her movie Unbroken because she doesn't believe it or care to give it any credence.  Jolie wants to give all the credit to Louis and seems to be a woman who knows nothing of faith.

After all, conversion to Jesus Christ ---especially at a Billy Graham crusade for heaven's sake--- isn't politically or spiritually correct these days. So why not leave it out? 

In her world, we're all our own gods who can save and transform ourselves with enough courage and perseverence and no help from above.   No wonder the movie rang only half-true and got such  low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences, however, are more sanguine about the movie, no doubt because of Jolie's star power.

Below, Cal Thomas writes a very worthwhile review:

NEW YORK—I wanted to like the movie because I love the book. Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller Unbroken is a classic. While I had heard reports that the turning point in the book never made it to film, I attended a pre-release screening with an open mind.

Audiences are told Unbroken is a “true story.”

It is true, as far as it goes, but the story is incomplete.

There have been many World War II stories told in film depicting triumphs of personal courage and survival. The story of Louis Zamperini is one such story, but with an added dimension. Zamperini, who died earlier this year at age 97, came home an angry man. He became addicted to alcohol and cigarettes and verbally abused his young wife as he wrestled with his inner demons.

The skeleton of his story is in the film—the plane crash at sea while on a rescue mission; the 47 days floating on a raft before being picked up by a Japanese ship and thrown into a prison camp; the relentless torture and eventual liberation at the end of the war.

After returning to Los Angeles we see Zamperini hugging his brother and parents, but the story ends there. Director Angelina Jolie attempts to put some flesh on the bones at the end of the film with some still shots and words that tell us that Zamperini’s faith led him to return to Japan on a personal mission of reconciliation.

In media appearances, Jolie has refused to discuss why the most remarkable part of Zamperini’s story was excluded from the film. That would be the night he was converted at the 1949 Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles. As Hillenbrand tells it in her book, Zamperini came home, poured his alcohol down the drain, threw out his cigarettes, was reconciled to his wife, and became a new man because, he said, he had asked Jesus Christ to be his savior.

As stories about faith have made a recent comeback on TV and in movies, attracting high ratings and large ticket sales at the box office, it is puzzling why Jolie, who directed the film, and the Coen brothers, who wrote it, left out the most important part of Zamperini’s story.

Once word gets around that Zamperini’s conversion, which was so faithfully and beautifully chronicled in Hillenbrand’s book, is not in the film, I suspect many who share Zamperini’s faith may not buy tickets.

Apologists for Universal Pictures say people can always read the rest of the story in the book. Yes, they can, but then why should they see a film that highlights only half a life?

Just before he died, Jolie showed Zamperini a rough cut of the film. He professed to like it and said it doesn’t force religion down people’s throats. That’s a cliche, which doesn’t really fit in this instance.

Nothing is “forced” when it is true. The film, Selma, which is scheduled for release on Jan. 9, would be incomplete if it failed to depict Martin Luther King Jr. as a minister whose faith motivated him to be a modern-day Moses.

Fortunately, in addition to Hillenbrand’s book, people can read Zamperini’ story in his own words. His book is titled Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life. The One who preserved his life to the end is more powerful than his Japanese prison camp abuser. In the film Kings Row, Ronald Reagan awakens to learn that a botched operation has resulted in the amputation of his legs. “Where’s the rest of me?” he asks.

Where’s the rest of Zamperini’s story is the question I had after seeing Unbroken. 

Good question, Cal. And thanks for saving me a movie ticket.  But I'll probably buy the book read with true delight.

Meanwhile,  more on Brangelina's hip and confusing parenting style with Shiloh.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Navitity of Our Lord

Bone Broth for What Ails You

FOR ME, IT'S A BAD CASE OF FLU JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS. But the weather has been so wretched, it's the perfect time to be sick and rest. Really rest.  Actually,  I've felt so bad today, that I am just now getting online for a quick look.  Am drinking lots of water and chicken stock broth rich with minerals and electroytes.  Not ready to dance a jig right  now,  but am able to sit up and read a bit. Meanwhile, wishing you a Merry Christmas in case I don't get back for a day or two.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Obama's Christmas Gift To David Catron's Daughter: Her Brand New Health Insurance Cancellation


THE PIECE BELOW BY DAVID CATRON AT THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR IS WELL-WORTH A READ. It speaks for itself.  Federal healthcare under Obamacare  is a classic example of  government over-reach in attempting to solve one problem while creating ten others.

Government arrogance always purports to find solutions when in fact more often than not it just needs to stop being the problem. Obamacare reminds me of the 50s horror movie, The Thing.

Can anything stop or destroy this monster? What is it?  Where did it come from?  Will it go on eating kids and young people's future?

Catron's story gives a clue.What he doesn't say or acknowledge is that Obamacare was always designed to make healthy pay more and more in order to subsidize the unhealthy who pay less.

My youngest daughter just joined the ever-increasing number of Americans who have lost their health coverage due to Obamacare. She received a letter from her insurance carrier indicating that the individual policy with which she was eminently satisfied, and that she could more or less afford, would no longer be available after the end of the year. In its place, the insurer offered a plan whose premiums will be nearly double what she has been paying for the cancelled policy. Her monthly premium was $127. The premium for the replacement policy, if she can find no alternative, will be $243. 

 Anyone tempted to attribute this to the greed of insurance company executives would do well to remember that the essential benefits mandated by Obamacare rendered millions of existing health policies illegal and led to mass cancellations in 2013. A second wave of cancellations was expected just prior to the recent midterms. In order to avoid the inevitable voter outrage that would cause, President Obama issued an executive order permitting insurers to keep noncompliant plans in place until after the election. Well, the election is over and the cancellations are once again pouring forth. 

 I wasn’t surprised when one of these missives landed in my daughter’s mailbox. I knew her policy didn’t cover all of the 10 health services that the President and his accomplices deem “essential.” Indeed, the fact that her premiums had been relatively reasonable was due to a conscious decision to buy a policy that lacked “benefits” she was never going to need or use. Nonetheless, as I began to help her explore various coverage options, the true perversity of Obamacare came home in a way that was breathtaking even for a longtime critic of the President's “signature domestic achievement.” 

She can’t get coverage through her employer, a large retail chain at which she began working while in still in school. Obamacare requires companies of that size to offer coverage to all full time workers, but has redefined “full time” to mean 30 or more hours per week. These rules have created perverse incentives for large retailers and the way they manage employee benefits. Walmart, for example, will soon stop providing health insurance to employees working fewer than 30 hours a week. Likewise, my daughter’s employer is studiously holding non-management staff like her to 29 hours or less per week. 

Which brings us to those Obamacare exchanges about which we have had so many good reports. She went to and discovered that she would have to pay $388 per month for the kind of coverage she had when she was eligible to be included on my plan. That was obviously out of the question, so she looked at the cheapest plans on offer. The lowest priced catastrophic plan offered in our state has a monthly premium of $206 and comes with a deductible of no less than $6,600. This isn’t quite as awful as the plan offered by her current insurer, but it is still $79 per month more than she has been paying. 

Then, in a fit of irrational exuberance, I suggested that her limited income might qualify her for “premium assistance.” This elicited what P.G. Wodehouse would have referred to as a “hollow, mirthless laugh.” It turns out that she doesn’t make enough money to qualify for tax credits or any other subsidy. Her income fails to reach the minimum threshold for “marketplace savings,” which means that her only “coverage” choice isn’t really coverage. puts her remaining option thus: “If your yearly income is below $16,105 and your state is expanding Medicaid, you may qualify for Medicaid coverage.” Most of the previously uninsured applicants getting coverage under Obamacare are being dumped into Medicaid. 

This is a cruel bait and switch. 

The payment rates associated with that program are so low that primary care physicians can’t afford to treat the people it “covers.” Consequently, most of the care these patients receive is delivered in the nation’s overcrowded emergency rooms. Moreover, as I pointed out in this space last January, long-term medical outcomes for Medicaid patients have been shown to be no better than the outcomes enjoyed by people who have no insurance coverage at all. 

 In reality, the “Affordable Care Act” has rendered health coverage unaffordable for my daughter.

Were I her age, I would go without coverage and pay the penalty. She’s young and healthy, so she could probably get away with that until she finds a full time job that offers a decent health plan. But I won’t let her do that. She’ll sign up for the catastrophic plan through and pay the full monthly premium of $206. That will cover three primary care visits and pay the costs of a serious illness after eating up $6,600 for the deductible. Under that plan she will no doubt apply for the “Dad subsidy.” 

The one choice she does not have is to keep the coverage that she likes. President Obama and his congressional accomplices, despite their oft-repeated lies, have made sure of that.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice Sunday---Death of the Sun Followed By Its Rebirth Three Days Later Starting On December 25

PLEASE JOIN ME IN PRAYING FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE SLAIN COPS IN NYC ON THE WORST DAY OF THEIR LIVES TODAY IS THE SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS. It's also the the shortest, darkest day of the year or the winter solstice---here in the northern hemisphere.

I'm sure we all notice how the next three, shortest of days in the year can often contribute to additional stress, intensity, risky behaviors of all kinds, suicides and, more pervasively, a less than sanguine, if not bleak perspective in all areas of our lives. The stress and darkness contribute to Christmas Day and December 26th being the leading days for heart attacks (dubbed the Christmas cardiac) in the entire year.

 The winter solstice is also symbolic for the darkness and depravity in the world before the advent of God's Only Son Jesus Christ arrives as our only true Light, Lord and Savior.

Coming soon again is the Hope of the World at this darkest time in the year to overcome darkness and evil, and finally death. One day He will make all things right, as well as dry all---ALL--tears of His followers. It's the greatest news the world has ever known for anyone who will accept this gift and believe.

This is a time to hang in there and remember the sun and the Son of God are real no matter how dark it might momentarily seem.
Pastor Mike Atkins at River Crossing in Jackson Hole gives a heartening Advent sermon on Seeking First God and First Principles:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sony Hack Over Tasteless Film: Cyber Warfare On 1st Amendment Will Beget New Forms of Movie Releases (BitTorrent), Layered Cyber Security, XXX-Rated Parodies and New Love of Free Speech




It's useless to waste much time on  handwringing over new diplomatic ties with the pathetic country of Cuba by our truly feckless boy president,  mass shootings, ISIS beheadings and the aging Hillary Clinton's exhausted run for president. This hack attack of Sony by the 'GOP' is the story with the broadest and longest term implications and repercussions for each and everyone of us, in every walk of our lives.

It's an international sensation which will change the course of society, communications, banking and doing business forever.

A good overview that's well-worth a read of how these rogue hackers got  into the lax Sony system from the inside is at Business Insider.

Will Sony ever release its 3rd-rate, ill-conceived film, The Interview? Of course it will, in time. That's where and when a new and dazzling business BitTorrent enters the picture. We can all count on the fact that many more people will end up seeing the movie then, than would every have seen it to begin with. I certainly will. Below watch Sony's CEO Michael Lynton:

Meanwhile, you can also count on this hack attack making some of Hollywood entitled super-liberals into neo-conservatives---sooner rather than later. Oh yes it will. Right Mr. Clooney et al?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Little Light Non-Christmas Music....So Let's Hear It For Cole Porter

I'M GETTING A LITTLE TIRED OF CRYING IN THE CAR EVERY TIME I HEAR I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS on the radio, which reminds me of the night before my dear Daddy died on Christmas Day some years back. I get eye-liner and lipgloss all over the steering wheel and my best outfit. Then I'm a mess by the time I get to the luncheon or wherever I'm going.

So, here without further ado is a little light music dedicated without additional comment. Take it away, Cole Porter...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mr. Turner, Mr. Turner, Mr. Turner!


I remember landing in London for the first time as a younger woman, jet-lagged and truly ready to drop. Yet all I could think about, dream of, was getting to the Tate Museum as soon as possible to see the Turner Collection. Had looked, spellbound, at his paintings in books for years and fallen in love with his work long since in some kind of mystical way. Now all  that the stood in the way of my seeing his masterpieces in person was a good night's sleep.

My fondness for the irascible, brilliant Mr. Turner has only grown with the years.

 Incidentally, after immersing myself for a day at the Tate, my next favorite stop outside London was Kew Gardens. It was an unusually warm early February day (and winter) with pansies growing everywhere and some of the exhibits I saw there---like the botanist Marianne North----were also life-changing....

 But back to Mr. Turner.....


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advent Calendar


 IS ANYTHING MORE FUN THAN A GREAT ADVENT CALENDAR? Especially an interactive one that has  colorful little bookettes which a child, or child at heart, can open and read each day of Advent.

Oh the wonder of it all !Today's bookette is entitled "The Faithful Servant."

 Suddenly a voice boomed out, 'What traitor dares to insult the great King Herod?' shouted a well-dressed man who was Herod's high priest....A silence fell over the frightened crowd....'There can be but one king in Jerusalem,' thundered Herod's faithful servant....Then the wise men told him about the new star that had appeared---a sign that a great king would be born soon.... 

Will be away from the computer for the remainder of this weekend. Thanks for coming by.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

19 Secrets of UPS Drivers

SINCE UPS DRIVERS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CHRISTMAS MAYHEM, it's good to know how the company and its drivers survive and thrive at warp speed.

Here's a list of top DOs and DON'Ts.  Some of them---like right-hand turn routes only----are great advice for all of us regular drivers.  Indeed,  I do try to schedule all my in-town road swings with right-hand turns only.

The full list of UPS secrets is here.  SOURCE: Challies

 BTW,  my UPS driver, Mark, is one of the great guys of the world. He's always on the top of my gift list.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Things A Mother Fears



SECOND,  having a son marry a role model like Angelina Jolie who says her kids all want tattoos like hers which number about 17.   No doubt they will also want to start smoking soon too, if they haven't already.  I know the culture has mercifully and long-since left me behind; however,  I think Jolie is a trashy-looking woman.  What about all this body art is beautiful?  Nothing in my book.

Having children fall under the spell of bad influences / dark 'role models' like these can only be addressed by getting down on our knees and praying without ceasing for prevention as well as deliverance. But by the Grace of God go any of us.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday---Saying No When Someone Asks You to Pray For Them


THIS PAST WEEK HAS BEEN CRAZY BUSY.  When I did make time to do a little browsing,  I found this piece by Tim Challies to be one of the most interesting and thought-provoking I've read in a long while.  Saying No, I won't pray for you is something I've never said though it's crossed my mind.  Most importantly,  it's a matter of priorities as to how much I can devote to praying for others, especially strangers. 

I do try to be diligent and pray for someone I know or love in need, especially when they or someone close to them asks.  Sometimes God puts someone or a situation on my heart which I pray for even without being asked.  Still I'm not sure I have ever been in the position of being asked to pray for someone and then saying No.  

Anyway,  hope you're challenged by Tim's piece as I am.  I'll be back as I can later tonight and this week.


Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk broadcasts Christopher Yuan's talk on his incredible journey to God from the homosexual drug scene and lostness he was living in. This is one of the most amazing stories of transformation I've ever heard or read about.  Sobering.  Humbling.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (A Black Professional) Unloads On Race Baiting/Politically Expedient Vultures Who Descended On Ferguson

FORMER NBA HALL OF FAMER CHARLES BARKLEY DEFENDS POLICE: Ghettos would be like the wild west without them.

And calls out Missouri Dem Governor Jay Nixon, US Sen. Claire McCaskill (Dem MO) and US Attorney General Eric Holder for being politically motivated for self-serving purposes in their reactions to Ferguson.

 HT: Vanderleun

From Wikipedia: As Sheriff, Clarke has been known for his outspokenness. Clarke frequently appears at public events on horseback wearing a cowboy hat. Among his controversial remarks were his assertions that Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele had “penis envy” and must have been on heroin when crafting the county budget.