TOTO, We’re Not in GITMO Anymore

1496_DorothyHoldingToto_75yrs_28Based on the latest statistics from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 196 of the former Guantanamo (GITMO) detainees are either confirmed or suspected of returning to Jihadist activity

There are still around 116 terrorists incarcerated in GITMO.  If President Obama gets his way, this will change.  Since he was re-elected, Obama has been wearing ruby slippers and clicking his heels together in an effort to move the remaining GITMO detainees to facilities in either Kansas or South Carolina.

I find it interesting that some of Obama’s most outspoken critics are from the ranks of politicians from Kansas and South Carolina.  This is another example of poor judgment and retaliatory measures on the part of the president.

I seriously doubt that many in either Kansas or South Carolina will welcome these Jihadists with open arms.

Born in the USA

MaskAlthough I can’t quote much of Shakespeare’s work, I do believe the following quote is a statement Hamlet made to Ophelia: “God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.”

I can’t help but wonder if this is not case with Douglas McAuthur McCain. Even though this 33 year old American was born in the USA, and had been an aspiring rapper, he was suspected of fighting alongside of Islamic State militants when he died on Monday.

When some people undertake a search for meaning, they mistakenly embrace a rigid set of rules to guide them. History is full of examples of people who have made this mistake. The Pharisees corrupted the Mosaic Law and were chastised by Jesus, but there are examples from more recent history in the persons of Hitler, Mussolini, and in the Middle East movements of the past decade.

Douglas McAuthur McCain may have made the same error. The rigid rules he followed called for an extremist lifestyle and the shedding of blood. Instead of giving his life meaning, it just created a greater thirst for blood.

The rigid rules were McCain’s attempt at remaking the face God had given him, and they were a weak substitute for a sustaining relationship that is more than smoke and mirrors—it is the knowledge that we are created in the image of God.

The words of Alan Redpath are a good explanation of this relationship: “The man who gazes upon and contemplates day by day the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who has caught the glow of the reality that the Lord is not a theory but an indwelling power and force in his life, is as a mirror reflecting the glory of the Lord.”

With my increase in age, I have noticed a decrease in vision. This is why I must depend on trifocals to bring things into focus. As I write this, my frames are bent a little and the left lens is higher than the right lens; and, my vision is blurred because the depth perception is skewed.

A rigid set of rules without the sustaining relationship of grace mercy will also skew reality. They may reform you, but they will never transform you. The first is little more than the insanity of humanity, the latter is all about the image of God and Christianity.

As John Piper has said: “Transformation is not switching from the to-do list of the flesh to the to-do list of the law. When Paul replaces the list—the works—of the flesh, he does not replace it with the works of the law, but the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19-22). The Christian alternative to immoral behaviors is not a new list of moral behaviors. It is the triumphant power and transformation of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ—our Savior, our Lord, our Treasure. “

ISIS: Prayer or a Preyer?

preytimeThe English language can be a strange creature that breeds confusion in the field of communication. The different meanings of the word bow is a good example:
• to bend forward at the waist in respect as in “bow down”
• the front of the ship (e.g. “bow and stern”)
• a ribbon tied to a package
• a bowtie
• to bend outward at the sides like a “bow-legged” cowboy
• a bow and arrow
Then there are words like:
• March (a month) and march as in a parade
• Divine (God) and divine as in discovering something by intuition
• Liberal (political view) and liberal as in abundance or plenty
• Agape (an open mouth) and agape (love of God)
• Dove (a bird) and dove (as in scuba diving)

You may wonder about the wandering of my mind, and what this has to do with ISIS. I have a two word answer: President Obama. Over the last couple of weeks, the President has chosen to use the acronym ISIL instead of the more common ISIS. The latter refers to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and ISIL means Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The difference between ISIS and ISIL is more than word-play. There is an alarming difference between the two. The “Levant” of ISIL incorporates the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey. ISIL has its eyes on more than just Syria and Iraq. The ravenous hunger of these misfit Muslims will not be satisfied until they devour the other countries of this region and feast on Israel as well.

Do situations like this make you mad or are they made for prayer? Do they rob you of your peace or do you robe yourself in prayer? We need to pray for the minority groups in this region because they have a slim chance of survival when the slime of hatred flows out of control.

The world is looking to us to help strip ISIL of its power, but I’m afraid all they are seeing is the yellow stripe of cowardice.

Like many of you, I’m war-weary and the last thing I want to see is our American troops engaged in combat again, but ISIL must be stopped. Will we fight them there or here on American soil?

I encourage you to pray that God will stop ISIL’s preying on the innocent.

Citizen’s Arrest

images-humantrafficking_tm_524883229No citizen should be at rest when far too many children cannot be at ease. When it comes to the subject of human trafficking, we ought to be self-appointed traffic cops. I made this statement in a blog I wrote about a year ago, and I thought of it again after hearing of the abduction of some Nigerian girls.

The Boko Haram are terrorists operating in and around Nigeria, and they’ve had schools, churches, and villages in their cross hairs. The “haram” portion of their name means “forbidden,” and they believe a western style education is a violation of Islamic law. The school girls from Nigeria are their latest victims, and they will most likely be sold as sex slaves.

Human trafficking is big business as it generates about $32 billion annually. How can anyone think of this as a profitable business when the loss column is framed with the images of innocent children—children victimized for the pleasure and sexual gratification of lowly scum?

Statistics tell us that two children are sold into the commercial sex trade every minute of every day. That is 525,600 a year X 2 children, which is over 1 million a year. Not just one year, but year after year. Think of how many precious lives have been ruined in your lifetime!

Even though President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment declared slavery to be illegal, it has reared its ugly head in the form of sex trafficking; and it is a wicked scar on the face of humanity.

We need to pray for those who are preyed upon, and we need to support the efforts of those who are fighting the fight to free those who are still in bondage.