Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Here is an article pertinent to our preemptive war in Iraq:

Death to America
by Daniel Pipes, New York Post, September 8, 2002
www.danielpipes.org/article/460

America's war on terrorism did not begin in September 2001. It began in November 1979.

That was shortly after Ayatollah Khomeini had seized power in Iran, riding the slogan "Death to America" - and sure enough, the attacks on Americans soon began. In November 1979, a militant Islamic mob took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the Iranian capital, and held 52 Americans hostage for the next 444 days.

The rescue team sent to free those hostages in April 1980 suffered eight fatalities, making them the first of militant Islam's many American casualties. Others included:

April 1983: 17 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

October 1983: 241 dead at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

December 1983: five dead at the U.S. embassy in Kuwait.

January 1984: the president of the American University of Beirut killed.

April 1984: 18 dead near a U.S. airbase in Spain.

September 1984: 16 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut (again).

December 1984: Two dead on a plane hijacked to Tehran.

June 1985: One dead on a plane hijacked to Beirut.

After a let-up, the attacks then restarted: Five and 19 dead in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, 224 dead at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 and 17 dead on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.

Simultaneously, the murderous assault of militant Islam also took place on U.S. soil:

July 1980: an Iranian dissident killed in the Washington, D.C. area.

August 1983: a leader of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam killed in Canton, Mich.

August 1984: three Indians killed in a suburb of Tacoma, Wash.

September 1986: a doctor killed in Augusta, Ga.

January 1990: an Egyptian freethinker killed in Tucson, Ariz.

November 1990: a Jewish leader killed in New York.

February 1991: an Egyptian Islamist killed in New York.

January 1993: two CIA staff killed outside agency headquarters in Langley, Va.

February 1993: Six people killed at the World Trade Center.

March 1994: an Orthodox Jewish boy killed on the Brooklyn Bridge.

February 1997: a Danish tourist killed on the Empire State building.

October 1999: 217 passengers killed on an EgyptAir flight near New York City.

In all, 800 persons lost their lives in the course of attacks by militant Islam on Americans before September 2001 - more than killed by any other enemy since the Vietnam War. (Further, this listing does not include the dozens more Americans in Israel killed by militant Islamic terrorists.)

And yet, these murders hardly registered. Only with the events of a year ago did Americans finally realize that "Death to America" truly is the battle cry of this era's most dangerous foe, militant Islam.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Genesis 14:20, "And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand."

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

On the Eve of War:

Today my family and I dug out from the blizzard, made snow forts, helped our neighbors. We enjoyed in our own small way the blessings of liberty, those blessings granted to us by the many individuals and families of our beloved country who have made sacrifices on our behalf. It is not unusual for us as Christians to live as benefactors of sacrifice, because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave His all for us, but we are no less thankful for our fellow countrymen who have gone before us.

I remember with perfect clarity the day I left active duty in the National Guard, the summer after the Persian Gulf War. I had stayed in out of a sense of loyalty to my unit and to our nation, despite the hardship of being a pastor who once a month gave up a Sunday in order to serve. After a final interview with my First Sergeant, and a final, longing look and salute at the flag above the armory, I went home.

I had served five years as a Private First Class in the United States Army National Guard. What I did isn't all that important. I chose a tough combat MOS so that I might lead by example, but my service was humble, and in the big scheme of things, seemingly insignificant. I worked hard and showed an avid interest in my jobs, and tried to lead as much as possible from my undetectably low rank.

That evening I had a glass of scotch and ruminated over what I had done, and I think you true soldiers would understand when I reveal that I cried myself to sleep that night. I knew from that day forward I would spend my life on the wrong side of Henry V's St. Crispin's day speech, I would lie abed and count my manhood cheap. Some of those same tears track my cheeks this evening.

It is not a paralyzing or selfish grief; it is from the depths of my soul that I understand it was not God's will that I should become a member of that sacred band of brothers. Rather, it is a pure grief which galvanizes my innermost being toward service. If not on the battlefied, then at home, encouraging and founding rationales for any Christian warrior who will listen. If I could change just one life, change your life...

I am grateful for those who wear the uniform of our armed forces tonight, for their willingness, for their courage, determination, and dedication to excellence. I know they will need our prayers and encouragement. I am filled with fierce pride for everyone from Front Range Bible Church who wears the uniform - my God, what a fine company you make! How I long to see you all when the Lord allows, and salute your service.

Remember these words:

Shakespeare, Henry V.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

God bless, God speed, and get some for all of us.
Tom Daschle, the Senator from France: "I'm saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war, saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country."
Our nation has thirty friends in the world: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Britain, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

I keep going over the list looking for France, but I just don't see them.

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordian."

Monday, March 17, 2003

I apologize for the late post this evening. The President's speech tonight was simple and to the point. He did in a few minutes what the United Nations has failed to do during its entire span of existence: find a backbone. I am so grateful to God for him, and for those who serve us in the Armed Forces. FACTA NON VERBA - Deeds not words.