Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘America’ Category

A weekend nonfiction audio book review…because Pastors also need a break from reading and also for you staying at home in light of the Corona Virus…

 

William H. McRaven. Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations.  New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, June 21st 2019. 10 hours 18 minutes 39 seconds.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What is it like being the longest serving Navy SEAL commando and an Admiral of the Navy Seals and other Special Operations Forces?  This book is a memoir of Admiral McRaven whom most people probably know for his leadership of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that pulled off the mission that target Bin Laden.  There’s not a lot of SEALs that picked up the rank of admiral and I believe he’s the second SEAL that achieved that rank.  This audio book is read by the author himself and looks back not only with his Navy career but also his childhood and a look at the men and women who have served and risked their life and at times died in serving in the military.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

A weekend nonfiction reading review…because even pastors need a break from heavy theological reading!

John Pomfret.  The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom. New York, NY: Henry  Holt and Company, November 29th 2016. 704 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an incredible work on the relationship between the United States and China.  It is a very fascinating read from the first chapter to the last.  When one thinks about the United States and China even at the surface one realizes that the two countries are very different: on the one hand one is a new country and on the other hand the other is an ancient kingdom that have existed for thousands of years.  On the other hand one country represents the modern West while the other represents Asia.  Nevertheless the amount of intersection and interaction between the countries is incredible and have shaped the two country in crucial ways more than most people realize.  Despite the differences the people from both countries have historically been fascinated with each other while also being fearful and misunderstanding each other.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

It’s the Fourth of July!  For those outside the United States that doesn’t know, today is the day Americans celebrate the founding of the United States as a country.  Here’s a review of an audiobook that’s fitting for today.

Derek W. Beck.  The War Before Independence: 1775-1776.  Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, June 1st 2016.  528 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This audiobook is a fascinating military history on the first few months of the American War of Independence.  Tantor Audio turned the written book into an audio book.  While the physical book is over five hundred pages long the book in audio format comes in at 13 hours and 49 minutes long.  The narration was good and both the reader and the content of the book captured my attention from start to finish.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Here’s this weekend book review, a feature I try to post on Fridays because sometimes in ministry Pastors need to read other things besides theology, Bible, commentaries and apologetics.

Band of Giants The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America's Independence

Jack Kelly. Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence.  New York, NY: Saint Martin’s Press, September 9th, 2014. 288 pp.

This book focuses on the military leaders during the American War of Independence.  I appreciate the author’s look at the military leaders that are not as well known today.  Previously I read a book on General Benedict Arnold so I was looking forward to reading this book to get a better idea of what the other leaders were like.  Author Jack Kelly paints a portrait of American military men with their admirable qualities but also their quirks.  It’s amazing to consider how amateur the American side were.  This was contrasted with the British Red Coats who were professional.  I love how the book gave an account towards the end of the book of how an American solider asked a British soldier what his occupation was outside of the military; this was a concept that was foreign to their British professional counterpart and one that the Brits chided the Americans.  In fact throughout the book it was clear that the Brits didn’t think too favorably of the American military leaders either.  British officers saw themselves as gentlemen and aristocrats.  It is no surprised then that the British looked down upon American military officers as craftsmen and merchants mimicking aristocratic officers.  Despite the American vast inexperience it is incredible to consider that the Americans would have won the war.  But as you read the book you also see how the leaders and generals matured.  At the same time war is beyond anyone’s control—and the hands of victory is ultimately determined by God more than generals.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

American Gospel by Jon Meacham

This is an interesting book on the relationship and influence of religion upon the founding fathers in the political sphere. It is written by a capable author on American history. The author’s thesis is contrary to the opinions of twentieth first century secular humanists and atheists, since he argues that historically there has been a place for religion in the public square. He also balances this view by challenging the views adopted by some Conservative Christians that the United States’ founding fathers were thoroughly Christian or sectarian as it is expressed in the political realm. His view is approximately that of my current stance: No doubt Christianity has been influential in the lives of individuals who were involved with the American independence and the new United States government but there were other ideological influences as well such as the Enlightenment, rational theism, etc. I was eager to read this book to learn more about the non-Christians among our Founding Fathers and to see where they stood theologically. Since my undergraduate studies I have concluded that Benjamin Franklin was not quite the ideal Deists as some propagandists makes him out to be especially concerning the issue of God’s providence. The book reinforces my view when it quoted Franklin saying, “I have lived sir a long time, the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affair of men.” Though he was not a Christian, Franklin was far from being the modern militant secularist today since he wrote, “He that spit against the wind, spit in his own face” against someone who was going to publish a tract against Christianity. Concerning Thomas Jefferson I thought it was ironic that as he was approaching his death Jefferson would comfort himself with the portion of the Gospel of Luke that he edited out of his own Bible version from the Song of Simeon. I also found it intriguing that the No Establishment Clause in the Constitution, seemed to be interpreted contrary to the current interpretation today when we read of instances such as the case of a Jew name Jacob Henry whose attempt to enter into state political office was challenged, indicating that the First Amendment was not invoked or understood historically as implying that there must be a ban against religious test for office at the state level. I also enjoyed reading in the book John Jay boldly stating he believed in Jesus Christ at a party in France before philosophers mocking the faith. Over all a good, informative and captivating read. The title was a bit misleading since it went beyond the founding fathers to talk about the role of public religion in the lives of later presidents such as Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Kennedy, Nixon and Ronald Regan. I was surprised to read that Eisenhower would pray in every cabinet meeting. One criticism I did have was the author’s wrongful assumption that the Bible teaches Earth was the center of the universe. While one gets the sense that the author leans more left especially with his treatment of Christian conservatives, nevertheless I think discerning readers who are Christian conservative can learn from this book that yes, there is an influence of Christian heritage among America’s founding fathers. There’s plenty of ammo here against the New Atheists types and Brights concerning the nature of America’s public religion. However, the book rightly points out that the public religion in America’s political landscape is not thoroughly Christian and is quite ecumenical. I believe Christians ought to be careful of ecumenicalism lest it changes and compromises the Christian faith and the Gospel message with this Americanized public religion.

Purchase: Amazon

Read Full Post »

To Allah, there are no animals viler than those who do not believe and remain unbelievers” (Surah 8:55).

Here is the fate of those who fight Allah and his messenger: you will put them to death or you will make them suffer the torture of the cross; you will cut their hands and their feet alternately. They will be driven from the country” (Surah 5:33)

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah 9:5)

So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds.” (Surah 47:4)

Do not display cowardice, and do not call the infidels to peace when you are superior to them” (Surah 47:35).

Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will abide in hell-fire, they are the worst of creatures.” (Surah 98:6)

This is the question that the West needs to understand, what part of kill don’t they not understand?” ~ Walid Shoebat

This is not an allegorical kill, but a literal kill.” ~ Walid Shoebat

Here is another video of an Egyptian Imam that sings of apes, pigs and the annihilation of Jews on Judgment Day:

Song of Death

Hebrews 13:3,

Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body” (NASB).

Read Full Post »

We salute you all (especially our two bloggers) who have served the country with honor.

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Fascinating statistics.

HT: JT

Read Full Post »

The French soldier is writing about the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan

While the guys here at Veritas Domain are heavily manned by Marines, it’s good to see a tribute of the Army also

At the least it gives you some perspective of what operating alongside with US forces is like through the French soldier’s eyes

Translation from here

“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while – they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army – one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day ? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.

They have a terribly strong American accent – from our point of view the language they speak is not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they even admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine – they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them – we are wimps, even the strongest of us – and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.

Here we discover America as it is often depicted : their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity lack of privacy and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley. Honor, motherland – everything here reminds of that : the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels. Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner. Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

And they are impressive warriors ! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days. At night, all movements are performed in the dark – only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move. Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered – everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.

And combat ? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all – always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks : they switch  from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the ennemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting : they just charge ! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later – which cuts any pussyfooting short.

We seldom hear any harsh word, and from 5 AM onwards the camp chores are performed in beautiful order and always with excellent spirit. A passing American helicopter stops near a stranded vehicle just to check that everything is alright; an American combat team will rush to support ours before even knowing how dangerous the mission is – from what we have been given to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe.

To those who bestow us with the honor of sharing their combat outposts and who everyday give proof of their military excellence, to those who pay the daily tribute of America’s army’s deployment on Afghan soil, to those we owned this article, ourselves hoping that we will always remain worthy of them and to always continue hearing them say that we are all the same band of brothers”.

Read Full Post »

I was watching the news today, showing an interview with McCain. During the interview, the reporter asked a question dealing with an underpriviledged military and how the priviledged (excluding McCain) do not serve. It’s always annoying when popular myths like a “victimized military” and call for a draft continue to perpetuate schools and the media. Although McCain did not contend this point about under-representation, this myth has already been debunked years ago. Recently, I came across some research that does called “Who Bears the Burden?” by Dr. Tim Kane from 2005.

In the article, Dr. Kane talks a little about the history of military recruiting before dwelving into the research comparing the demographics before 9/11 and after. The article says that before 9/11 the number of recruits from the middle class was slightly higher than the lower income brackets. After 9/11, “However, the proportion of high-income recruits rose to a disproportionately high level after the war on ter­rorism began, as did the proportion of highly edu­cated enlistees.”

Not only did the research find that the level of income was higher before and after 9/11 but the research also found that the recruits before and after 9/11 have a higher education level than the general population as well. Dr. Kane points out that the military has 98% who’ve completed high school or higher, in contrast to the 75% who’ve done so in the general population. Below is a graphical comparison:

Interestingly, enough, although the level of the general population that have take some college is much higher than the military’s, the difference drops down when comparing those that have completed post-high school education.

Other comparisons include the recruit demographics by race, by rural versus city, Southern versus New England states, and by state.

Read Full Post »

I have to give one warning that there is one f-word cuss word in this video.

I post it up for the purpose to show how ignorant the average Americans can be. 

As Christians, we ought to be informed and not be ignorant of the world around us.

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving

Most Americans are familiar with the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving Feast of 1621, but few realize that it was not the first festival of its kind in North America. Long before Europeans set foot in the Americas, native peoples sought to insure a good harvest with dances and rituals such as the Green Corn Dance of the Cherokees.

The first Thanksgiving service known to be held by Europeans in North America occurred on May 27, 1578 in Newfoundland, although earlier Church-type services were probably held by Spaniards in La Florida. However, for British New England, some historians believe that the Popham Colony in Maine conducted a Thanksgiving service in 1607 (see Sources: Greif, 208-209; Gould, and Hatch). In the same year, Jamestown colonists gave thanks for their safe arrival, and another service was held in 1610 when a supply ship arrived after a harsh winter. Berkley Hundred settlers held a Thanksgiving service in accordance with their charter which stated that the day of their arrival in Virginia should be observed yearly as a day of Thanksgiving, but within a few years an Indian uprising ended further services (Dabney). Thus British colonists held several Thanksgiving services in America before the Pilgrim’s celebration in 1621.

The Pilgrims, with a puritanical rejection of public religious display, held a non-religious Thanksgiving feast, aside from saying grace. In fact, they seem to have used the three days for feasting, playing games, and even drinking liquor.

In 1623, the Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts, held another day of Thanksgiving. As a drought was destroying their crops, colonists prayed and fasted for relief; the rains came a few days later. And not long after, Captain Miles Standish arrived with staples and news that a Dutch supply ship was on its way. Because of all this good fortune, colonists held a day of Thanksgiving and prayer on June 30. This 1623 festival appears to have been the origin of our Thanksgiving Day because it combined a religious and social celebration.

Festivals of Thanksgiving were observed sporadically on a local level for more than 150 years. They tended to be autumn harvest celebrations. But in 1789, Elias Boudinot, Massachusetts, member of the House of Representatives, moved that a day of Thanksgiving be held to thank God for giving the American people the opportunity to create a Constitution to preserve their hard won freedoms. A Congressional Joint Committee approved the motion, and informed President George Washington. On October 3, 1789, the President proclaimed that the people of the United States observe “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” on Thursday, the 26th of November.

The next three Presidents proclaimed, at most, two days of thanksgiving sometime during their terms of office, either on their own initiative or at the request of a joint Resolution of Congress. One exception was Thomas Jefferson, who believed it was a conflict of church and state to require the American people hold a day of prayer and thanksgiving. President James Madison proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to be held on April 13, 1815, the last such proclamation issued by a President until Abraham Lincoln did so in 1862.

Most of the credit for the establishment of an annual Thanksgiving holiday may be given to Sarah Josepha Hale. Editor of Ladies Magazine and Godey’s Lady’s Book, she began to agitate for such a day in 1827 by printing articles in the magazines. She also published stories and recipes, and wrote scores of letters to governors, senators, and presidents. After 36 years of crusading, she won her battle. On October 3, 1863, buoyed by the Union victory at Gettysburg, President Lincoln proclaimed that November 26, would be a national Thanksgiving Day, to be observed every year on the fourth Thursday of November.

Only twice has a president changed the day of observation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in order to give depression-era merchants more selling days before Christmas, assigned the third Thursday to be Thanksgiving Day in 1939 and 1940. But he was met with popular resistance, largely because the change required rescheduling Thanksgiving Day events such as football games and parades. In 1941, a Congressional Joint Resolution officially set the fourth Thursday of November as a national holiday for Thanksgiving.

Today, Thanksgiving is a time when many families come together, and many churches are open for special services. We have both Native Americans and immigrants to thank for the opportunity to observe a day of thanksgiving.

By the President of the United States of America–

A Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their Joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions–to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us–and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

The source of this article is taken from here.

Read Full Post »

The following below shows how irrational Americans and those in Law Enforcement get, in order to supress the freedom of speech of those who are Christian or Pro-life.

Just because you are in Law Enforcement does not allow you to punk before and arrest them without letting them know you are an agent of the Law (not to mention failure to inform why you are arresting them)

From the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust:

Theft. Intimidation. Violence.

A young man with braces on his frail knees, shoved against a wall and thrown to the ground. His personal items rifled through and kept without permission. Later, handcuffed and locked alone in a windowless room – without a light. And throughout this brutal treatment, he was never told why he was being arrested.

Two more young men shoved, choked, handcuffed, and carted off to jail. Also without being informed of their crime.

California police officers engaged in these very acts yesterday at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

As I write, two members of the Campus Life Tour team sit in jail on a $25,527 bond. That’s $25,527 for each person.

Friends of the Survivors, I ask for your prayers. I have worked with the Survivors since the birth of the organization in 1998, and I have never before seen this level of discrimination, hatred, and police brutality.

http://survivors.la/blog/index.php?id=62

Read Full Post »

THis is a news clip I got from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071108/ap_on_re_us/homeless_veterans&printer=1;_ylt=AvHv_TONV706vH.0_aVGRqxH2ocA

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

The Veterans Affairs Department has identified 1,500 homeless veterans from the current wars and says 400 of them have participated in its programs specifically targeting homelessness.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, a public education nonprofit, based the findings of its report on numbers from Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau. 2005 data estimated that 194,254 homeless people out of 744,313 on any given night were veterans.

THat is alot of homeless Veterans already from IRaq and Afghanistan

OUr church ministry have reached out to veterans of Iraq, and I think the best help these guys can get is from grass root Christians and Church fellowships who are there to share the love of Christ, and help returning veterans readjust to a wholistic life

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »