War – II and More

9/27/07 at 7:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It was an interesting juxtaposition of war “things” on Monday. In New York Mad-man-jihad, Iran’s President, spoke at Columbia Univ., and I believe is scheduled to address (again) the UN in a few days. Last night PBS began showing the highly anticipated documentary on World War II by Ken Burns.

I’m still greatly angered that he was not only asked to speak at a school in the US but that he was even allowed access into the country. If Pres. Bush is serious about Iran as a member of the Axis of Evil, if we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iran is supplying arms to the terrorists in Iraq who use it to kill American servicemen, then Mad-man-jihad should either be denied entrance or he should be held as a prisoner of war. You can send him to Gitmo and let him enjoy the fine accomodations the Marines provide there.

[UPDATE: Now writing on Thursday I see how Bollinger tried to tear into the Iranian President, though it didn’t seem to affect him. I still don’t think he should have been invited in the first place.]

The War documentary on PBS was excellent. Even my 9 y.o. enjoyed part of it, particularly the combat parts. He wasn’t very interested in the talking sequences during the internment camp sequences. I felt my heart swelling with pride listening to the stories of everyday folks making a difference, whether they were in the military or back in their communities. I also felt a little shame, in that I (and many other people) are not sacrificing for the current war effort, that we don’t at least pray as we ought for the people that are putting it on the line in the Middle East.

After watching Thursday’s show, I can’t imagine there were many viewers who had dry eyes after the Normandy (Omaha Beach) invasion and how the nation as a whole reacted. Like the battle of Troy for the Greeks, this battle will be recounted thousands of years from now. Today in Iraq there are no beaches or fortified positions to storm. Going from city block to city block, rooting out the terrorists, is like going from hedgerow to hedgerow. Military victory today will be calculated much more differently than WWII.

Getting back to prayer, President Roosevelt gave a stirring prayer on the night following D-Day, and part of it was replayed in the documentary. It’s a little lengthy, but it’s worth reading and can be applied (for the most part) to the current situation in the Middle East.

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – June 6, 1944

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Review: Facing the Giants

9/21/07 at 10:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Facing the Giants has been out awhile, and friends at church have raved about how wonderful it was. I’ve avoided it based on the gushing as well as some poor reviews from movie websites I frequent. Kristal borrowed a copy from the library, so the price was right – only two hours of my life. I can better understand the criticism of it now.

It’s basically a Christian propaganda film. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Could it have been edgier, without the big happy ending, and made more “artistically”? Yeah, maybe, but it is what it is. While it was for the most part entertaining, it helped to drive home some points that most of us need to consider: what is our purpose, and are we giving it all we’ve got?

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW: I would have liked some things to not go quite the coach’s way, as he seemed to get it all (new vehicle, money, championship, baby) and it veered close to a prosperity gospel. We also got very little character development/interactions with the students, besides the kicker and his dad. I suppose with the time limitation they decided to focus on the coach and what he went through.

A powerful element of the movie was the coach’s decision to gut it out after it looked like he was going to be let go. He turned to the Lord, sought His will and changed his approach to the team. It took time for the blessings to flow, and it was touching when the students started their own revival. The son repenting and reconciling to his father was also great. END SPOILERS

A difficult part of the movie for Kristal and me was the infertility thread. Having gone through it ourselves it’s very heart-wrenching. I’d just as soon not revisit it. I thank God for the youngsters He has blessed us with by adoption. Infertility for Christian couples is very difficult to accept, as you feel like you’re being cursed. Enough on that for now.

Finally, one aspect of the movie greatly convicted me. An older man gives some prophetic encouragement to the coach, and he was shown him praying at the school walking down each hallway every day, and had done that for years. While I may not have access like that to a school, I can certainly pray over my house. Should I have a daily prayer walk and pray over each office at my job? Should I pray over each work station out in production? This head knowledge needs to be converted to foot action.

Christians will find much to enjoy about Facing the Giants. I’m not sure how well this could be used as an evangelical tool, but nothing is impossible with God. Those who don’t like Christians “getting in their face” will hate this film, particularly the happy ending. As far as the ladies not liking the football content, my wife Kristal (who is not a real big football fan) LOVED this movie and wants to buy it now. I enjoyed it, and if you go into it without expectations of seeing a monumental work of art, you should enjoy it too.

Spud-Speak 5

9/18/07 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

– No Britney news in almost a week … oh, she just leaves us twisting in the wind! Actually, for some strange reason I followed the MTV appearance and aftermath fairly closely. There was a part of me that wanted to be a father for her. Even at her ripe old age (24?) she is in sore need of a father to guide her, to be a strength for her as well as set her aright. Her choice in “accountability partners” has been poor. Some say this will end in suicide. I don’t know how things will work out, but now there are two innocent children involved. If they’re taken away from her then I fear the worst.

– Our middle son just turned 5 on Saturday, erego we go to Charles E. Cheese’s place. The cuisine, the activities, the gracious guests … wow! Actually, the kids did pretty good there, although this may be the last time we try to get away with just one large pizza to feed 5. I’m glad for the security system they have at the door. Once our 3 y.o. girl got a cup of tokens in her had she was gone. Although it makes your heart leap out of your chest just contemplating losing her, I suppose it’s as good a place as any to give her a little freedom.

– By a fluke we are getting the VH1 Classic channel, and they showed Pink Floyd’s The Wall Saturday night. There’s 2 hours I’ll never get back. I can vaguely remember trying to watch it some other times and falling asleep. I made a mighty effort to stay awake to midnight and did, but now I’d wish I had taken the extra sleeptime. It falls along the lines of “Oh woe is me, it’s so tough being a rock star, I have problems too ya know” crap, like Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page”, or the Moody Blues “I’m Just A Singer in a Rock-n-Roll Band”. Waah.

Go Petraeus!

9/12/07 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For while the country can thrive as a politically divided nation, its ability to defend itself diminishes alongside faith in the fidelity of the military. The unbalanced portrayal of the conduct of our soldiers has done damage enough. To impugn our warriors’ motives as political is thoroughly corrosive and hurts all Americans.
… they must recognize that a bipartisan course of action must be chosen in the context of a much larger war on terror. If the politicians continue pulling the country apart, this game of chicken will end badly and imperil both Iraq and the U.S. If America were hit tomorrow there would be more finger-pointing than ranks closing. That must change.

This is from a Marine Corps reservist in today’s OpinionJournal, and he says it better than I can. The Democrat’s continued assailing of Gen. Petraeus is disgusting. It boils down to a simple formula:

Progress/success in Iraq = Makes Bush look good
When engaged in Bush-rage, anything that can be done to make Pres. Bush look bad or hurt him will be used. These are people running scared, knowing a perception of victory in Iraq will doom them next year, as they tie their political aspirations to denigrating anything having to do with Iraq. Instead of working with the system to find a way of helping Iraq, it’s simply cut-and-run. And it’s simply sad. Hosanna – God help us!

Spud Speak 4

9/11/07 at 11:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

– God bless the families who lost loved ones six years ago today from the terrorist strike. May we continue to be ever vigilant to the evil loose in the world and rely on the Lord as our shield and provider.

– We’re getting a little break in the heat (from mid-upper 90’s to high 80’s) but still not much rain in the forecast. The farmers in this area are really going to take it on the chin (and in the wallet) this year. Send your rain, oh Lord.
[I wrote this two weeks ago, and we still have not seen any rain. Rain is forecast towards the end of the week, along with the string of +90 degree days finally coming to an end. It almost makes me wonder why God is mad at us. Almost.]

– If you haven’t heard, the title for #4 will be Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (h/t to Looking Closer journal). For your reading pleasure, here’s an interesting web page about crystal skulls, so you can “prepare” for the big movie.

– Gen. Petraeus testified yesterday to Congress on the progress in Iraq. I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is still saddening and somewhat sickening to see the Democrats try to cut this honorable man down with accusations of lying and claiming he is just a puppet for the Bush administration. I got this from the OpinionJournal, since I refuse to register with the NY Times site:

In an editorial on Sunday, the New York Times, after saying that President Bush “isn’t looking for the truth, only for ways to confound the public,” asserted that “General Petraeus has his own credibility problems.” We read this as an elision from George Bush, the oft-accused liar on WMD and all the rest, to David Petraeus, also a liar merely for serving in the chain of command. With this editorial, the Times establishes that the party line is no longer just “Bush lied,” but anyone who says anything good about Iraq or our effort there is also lying.

While the Times has had increasing problems with credibility of their own, will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? I suppose they will always have their city readership, and continued following from those like-minded rabid liberals.

In the past few years I have believed another terrorist attack against the USA would help unite us like it did six years ago. Now any attack would probably be blamed on the Bush administration as some sort of set-up, a staged tragedy to help his/Republican ratings. It continues to amaze me how clouded minds can become when engaged in rage of Bush-hate. I still hear crap about how the US invaded for Iraq’s oil, that we’re in the pocket of the Sauds. One more blurb from the OpinionJournal editorial:

Late last week, for instance, we heard it said of General Petraeus that, “He’s made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual.” This was from Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.The Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Lantos, said Thursday that General Petraeus would not be the author of his report; it would be written “by Administration political operatives.” He opened yesterday’s hearing, moments before General Petraeus was to speak, by saying, “We cannot take anything this Administration says on Iraq at face value.”

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