John 20 The Empty Tomb 1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord
11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him,[a] “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord,[b] and that He had spoken these things to her. The Apostles Commissioned
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,[c] for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Seeing and Believing
24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[d] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That You May Believe
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb. Pilate Sets a Guard
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
Matthew 27 1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. 9Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; 10And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. 11And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. 12And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. 15Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. 16And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 17Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? 18For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. 19When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. 20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. 22Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 23And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 25Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 26Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. 32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. 33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36And sitting down they watched him there; 37And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 47Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. 48And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. 49The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. 50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
By now you have all heard about O'bamas speech in response to the truly repulsive things that the minister of his Church has said. I will not bother providing a link because it is everywhere.In many ways I wish we were debating policy issues because the policies that the candidates put forward deserve to be dissected and we never seem to get to that.
However these conversations do serve a purpose because they tell us a lot about the candidates.
Obama says "I can no more deny my pastor then I can deny my white grandmother" and "Who has not heard there pastor say something that they disagree with"
I have heard my pastor say things I disagree with. Not little things but things that went against my core believes. I left that Church. A place where I had many friends. It was difficult but it was the right thing to do.
If Obama's pastor had said gay people should be stoned, or that interracial marriage was an abomination or that we should wage a crusade against Muslims and wipe them out or that Jews were evil would that have been enough to drive him out. I know I would leave a church if those things were preached from the pulpit. Is what his pastor said any better. I do not think so. Can you imagine Condi Rice or Colin Powell not walking out on that pastor?
So why has Obama stayed with this pastor.
I think it is because he is a big phony. He is a wonderful orator. One of the great inspirational speakers. However he does not believe anything he is saying. Either he agrees with his pastor or he is so devoid of core beliefs that he was simply not offended.
I think he is not a moderate who wants to unite us. I do not believe any of what he is saying. I think thisis more evidence that he is an ultra liberal no, scratch that, I meant a Marxist, who hates America. If he is elected president he will seek to destroy this country and will attack those who he considers the "privileged" (read bourgeois) and that he will tolerate racsist rhetoric that supports that agenda.
USA Today is running some articles on Gays and religion. Let's first be clear about one thing. gay people should not be kept out of Church. Jesus would never turn sinners away. If he did churches would be empty.
The problem is gays want more then tolerance. They want affirmation that the way they live there life is OK. The problem is the Bible, which Christians believe is the inspired word of God, makes it clear that homosexual conduct is a sin. For that reason Christians can not say it is not sin. They can say we love you anyway and welcome you to our Church and we pray that you will turn away from sin just like all of us must try to turn away from sin. They can not bless Homosexual Unions or have unrepentant sinners lead their Church (No matter the sin).
Lets examine the arguments people make to rationalize that homosexual conduct is not a sin.
1 Jesus never mentioned it. That is correct but Jesus was speaking to a Conservative Jewish Community where Homosexuality was not an issue. That community had a different set of shortcomings which Jesus dealt with. It is also clear that Jesus never categorized all the possible sins one could commit ( That had previously been accomplished). When the Apostle Paul brought Gods message to the wider non Jewish world he addressed homosexuality because that was a prevalent sin in the pagan world.
2. There are lots of things in the Bible we no longer follow. This is true however there are many things we still do follow. The Old Testament has two types of prohibitions in it, moral and cultural. The moral ones are things like not killing, committing adultery...you get the picture. The cultural ones are things like the dietary prohibitions in the Old Testament. These cultural prohibitions were designed to keep Jews separate from there pagan neighbors so tha their nascent faith would not be contaminated. That faith needed to be strong so that Jews could full fill their mission to be a light unto the world. After Jesus, when the message was spreading to the whole world, God let it be known that these cultural prohibitions where no longer needed. So how do we know which type of prohibition "no sodomy" is? Context. The prohibition on sodomy is spoken about in the same areas and in the same way sins such as rape and adultery are spoken of. 3. I was born that way, so if God created me how can it be a sin. Putting aside the fact that it is a dubious proposition that gay people are "born that way" many people can blame their genetic heritage for any number of sins, most more heinous then homosexuality. If there is truth to that God clearly calls us to move beyond our genetics. God said he loves us, he never promised life here would be easy. Quite the contrary.
To tell someone that which is a sin is not a sin is one of the greatest wrongs that a person can commit. You are leading that person away from God.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
I am not Italian American or African American or Polish American or Chinese American and though my ancestors came fro Ireland I am not Irish American. my great grandfather perhaps lays claim to being an Irish American but I do not.
I am one thing and one thing only. I AM AN AMERICAN. My culture is not Irish it is American.
We all need to strop thinking of ourselves as hyphenated Americans. It is bad for our nation. It eats away at our unity and preserves prejudice. We celebrate the heritage and culture of the nations our forebears fled. They came here because the American culture was better. It offered them more of a chance for success. Granted Africans did not come here voluntarily but I ask would you rather be here or in the country of your forefathers?
For this reason I no longer celebrate Saint Patrick's day as anything other then an excuse to eat corn beef and drink beer.
Continuing my series on how we meet the China threat I believe there are some significant foreign policy initiatives we must engage in. 1. Improve our relations in South America. We must take a less paternalistic view and take steps to gain the trust of South America. We can not afford enemies to our south. Especially with that maniac Chavez down there. A book could be written about how we accomplish this goal. Here is one model that is instructive. Bush's initiatives in Africa to reduce poverty and improve health care, especially the treatment of AIDS has blunted Chinese diplomatic incursions in Africa. A positive unintended consequence. As to Chavez in Venezuela. The best way to make him irrelevant is to ignore him while quietly improving relations with all the other countries around him. He gains power when we poke him. 2. Convince Russia we are not a threat to them and try to soothe their ego. Right now they are more then happy to try and help China stick it to us. This will be hard to accomplish because many of the things we are doing in Eastern Europe that offend them are necessary but we have to find away to if not make them our ally at least make them neutral. 3. Create and strengthen strategic alliances in Asia. Especially India. They are the perfect counter weight to China and we should do everything we can to make them strong economically and militarily as well as making them an ally. Another country is Vietnam. Vietnam has little love for China. They still celebrate ancient victories over the Chinese and fought a border war with China in the late 1970's that they handily won. Vietnam still has some human rights issues but it is changing and they are willing to be our friends. They could be a valuable ally.
The Washington Times column Inside the Ring by Bill Gertz reports the following gleaned from documents taken from The Columbian terrorist group FARC.
One document uncovered from Reyes' computer revealed that a group of "gringos," or Americans, was dealing with FARC through Ecuadorean intermediaries. The Americans were quoted in the FARC leaders' document as saying that Sen. Barack Obama will be the next president and that he does not support Plan Colombia, an anti-drug and aid strategy to back the Colombian government, or a U.S. free trade agreement with the country
"The First Amendment…does not say that in every respect there shall be a separation of church and state…Otherwise, the state and religion would be aliens to each other…We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being…When the state encourages religious instruction…it follows the best of our traditions."
Supreme Court Justice and noted liberal William O. Douglas
With some bumps in the road our economy has grown for the last 25 years.
Even the recessions we have had have been minor when compared to the historical economic cycle of boom /bust.
One of the biggest reasons for this is not tax cuts or other economic policies. It is because the creation of IRA's, 401 k accounts and other similar vehicles that opened up investment opportunities to the average Joe. This has done two things, created wealth on an unprecedented scale and increased the capital available for businesses to expand.
It actually does the opposite of Social Security which removes capital from the economy because current funds are not invested for future use but instead replaces income of people not working.
This is not only the fundamental flaw in social Security that will cause it to crash but it is actually bad for the economy.
He will raise the earnings cap on Social Security taxes which will result in the middle and wealthy classes paying more into Social Security, thereby removing capital available for investment from the economy. It is the exact opposite of what should be done.
This illustrates that with the abdication of Castro it is time for a new policy in Cuba. A policy of engagement where Cubans are exposed to Americans and American ideas.
Cuba is no longer a threat to us. We should end economic sanctions and travel restrictions on Cuba. If we do this freedom will soon follow. The Cuban people hunger for it and the more they are exposed to it the more they will want it. As the old guard dies off the hold of communism will become weaker and weaker.
Maintaining the current state of constant tension with Cuba just gives our enemies one more platform to attack us from. The time is right for a new Cuban Policy.
Key finding of the report include: • China's military spending continues to increase by double-digit figures and that official Chinese claims of spending $45 billion are short of actual spending, which could be as much as $139 billion • China has deployed between 990 and 1,070 CSS-6 and CSS-7 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) to garrisons opposite Taiwan and is adding more than 100 missiles per year, including more advanced systems. • Chinese computer hackers have launched sophisticated strikes on computer networks around the world in the past year, including U.S. government networks, that might be the work of the Chinese government. • China's strategy of defense includes conducting pre-emptive attacks "if the use of force protects or advances core interests, including territorial claims, for example, Taiwan and unresolved border or maritime claims." • China's anti-satellite weapon test in January 2007 shows that the military's space warfare capability is “more than theoretical.” Additional space weapons include jammers, laser blinders and microwave weapons to disable satellites and ground stations. • China is engaged in "wide-ranging espionage" targeting officials, businessmen and scientists prompting more than 400 U.S. investigations.. • China's military buildup is shifting the cross-Strait military balance in its favor, through a long-term expansion designed to fight "local wars" with high-tech weapons using speed, precision targeting, mobility, and the role of information technology as a force multiplier.
Do yourself a favor read the whole article. Then read the post below about Obama stance on National defense. Then go sign up for a Chinese Language class. You may soon need it to communicate with your new masters.
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