Saturday, August 25, 2007

Islam to Be Forced upon Americans

In a very disturbing news article today I read about a very bold attempt by a Muslim to force his religion upon other Americans. In the Wichita Eagle in an article entitled Dunkin' Donuts fighting Muslim's pork protest, the subtitle reads: A Chicago franchisee who is a Muslim alleges racial bias on the part of the company.

The story, by Ameet Sachdev of the Chicago Tribune, opens with the following two paragraphs:

CHICAGO - Every day for nearly 30 years, Walid Elkhatib has sold doughnuts. Glazed, chocolate frosted, Bavarian Kreme and other varieties. As a Dunkin' Donuts franchisee, he expanded the menu to include breakfast sandwiches, such as egg and cheese bagels.

But he drew the line at serving sandwiches with sausage, ham or bacon because his Muslim faith forbids him from eating or handling pork -- a departure from company policy that led Dunkin' Donuts in 2002 to threaten it would take away his two Chicago-area franchises.

So here is the gist of the matter. For 30 years Walid Elkhatib has been a voluntary participant in a franchise owned and controlled by Dunkin’ Donuts. He has been enabled to establish a business and build a clientele using the name owned by Dunkin’ Donuts. He agreed to operate by their rules. But now that the company has grown and has added menu items that Mr. Khatib discriminates against according to his racial and religious tenets, now he wants to force the company to abide by his beliefs. He wants the US courts to force this company to accept Islam’s discrimination as company policy.

Now Mr. Elkhatib has every right to operate his own business and practice this Muslim discrimination against those who do not believe that pork is forbidden. He has every right to own and operate a donut shop that practices according to Islamic rules and commandments. He has every right to hold to his racial and religious tenets in his business practices.

However, he is not content to do this. He wants the US courts to intervene and to give him the power to violate his contract with Dunkin’ Donuts. He wants the US courts to step in and take over Dunkin’ Donuts to make it comply with the religion of Islam.

This is very disturbing, even frightening. According to the article his anti-American and unconstitutional case has been permitted to continue in the courts for FIVE YEARS.

This case should never even have made it past his attorney’s desk, let alone to be entered into the legal process.

This is how Islam wars against peace loving people who are well established as a people so as to be indomitable by force. When able, Islam advances upon weaker people by force. But when a people is too strong, they make treaties and contracts that present the facade of peaceable relations, until by little bites they chew their way into a position of dominance. Then they force their ways upon the people.

Lying and deceit are not forbidden to Muslims who are dealing with non-Muslims. In fact, their god himself declares that he leads people astray according to his own pleasure, and permits his people to do likewise in their dealings with non-Muslims. Actually, this strategy is commanded when it appears to be expedient.

This court case truly should cause Americans to be alarmed. For unlike the practices of the Bible upon which the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are constructed, Islam is not tolerant of others. While the biblical tenets incorporated into the Constitution forbid actions that do harm to others and also militate against stealing away the rights of others that do not injure the commonwealth, Islam only protects those who embrace Allah as their god.

Walid Elkhatib demonstrates no concern whatsoever for the well-being of Dunkin’ Donuts and his fellow franchise owners. If Dunkin’ Donuts is forced by the courts to allow Walid Elkhatib to violate their policies, their company will no longer have any control over how the franchise participants operate. Menu items will no longer be consistent throughout the company. Ingredients will no longer be uniformly used. Soon the name of Dunkin’ Donuts will become nothing more than a reflection of what once was.

As Mr. Elkhatib is fully aware, the name is what makes a franchise valuable. It is the reason that he purchased franchise rights rather than using his own name. How many people would be enticed to stop at a restaurant named, Elkhatib’s Donuts?

No, he knows the value of a franchise name. He knows the power of national recognition, power gained through the united efforts of those who produced the same menu items made of the same ingredients according to the same standards and offered at the same prices throughout the company. Now he wants to steal that name from all the others in the company. He wants the courts to take what Dunkin’ Donuts represents and force it into conformity with the nation of Islam.

The really frightening reality of this matter is that Mr. Elkhatib will probably get his way. After all, this has been the pattern of the US courts since at least the 1960's. This has been the way that much of America has adopted for a very long time.

Just look at the names that are used on the many churches that claim to be Christian. How many are there? Yet they all claim the name of Christian. Even the YMCA and the YWCA still use the name of Christian, but it really has no part whatsoever in what these organizations do. Most churches are of that same mold. They use the name of Christian, and then perhaps also some denominational name, but the practices of the local congregations do not hold to any consistent form.

Since, then, so many Americans have permitted the name that supposedly is of everlasting importance to them to be misused and disenfranchised in such ways, who will object if the same is done to Dunkin’ Donuts? Moreover, who will stand up and say “No” to the Islamic war machine that is being established in the nation, little by little edifying the fortresses that will be used to destroy the “Liberty and Justice for all” that our pledge of allegiance has declared in conformity with our founding documents?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Knowing AND Following God’s Will

When a person knows God’s Word so that he also acknowledges and knows God’s will for himself, from whom does he need permission or approval before he actually follows it?

In similar fashion, how many people must he first convince to follow it with him, before he follows what he knows to be God’s will himself?

More on Foot Pain Relief

In the post below I shared the relief that I have received from the pain of Metatarsalgia & Morton’s Neuroma. The foot pads continue to give relief as long as I use them. I have been truly amazed at the relief that accompanies the use of such a seemingly common and humble means. I find myself wanting to wear my shoes for the relief that I receive. During the evenings and nights when my shoes are not on my feet, the swelling at the heads of the metatarsals returns. But when I put my shoes or boots on, with the ever so humble pads installed, the symptoms begin to subside almost immediately.

In case you’ve been wondering when I would make a theological connection, the time is now. For these little humble means of relief for my feet are a type (a figure) of the means of grace that God provides for the soul. Like the metatarsal pads, God’s means of grace work their miracle only when we are in contact with them. While Baptism is a once-for-all event in a person’s life, its effects are lifelong. The confession/absolution is a perpetual process of addressing the symptoms and applying the healing that is needed for the cause. The Lord’s Supper likewise renews the application of the means of healing for hurts that have no other possible cure. The pain that recurs in our heart and spirit and mind cannot be touched or healed by any means that we can supply. Only God can restore a good conscience to sinners and remove the corruption that kills every man, woman, and child without discrimination.

One of the most amazing things about God’s means of grace is that they are absolutely free. God does not charge for them. He does not place requirements for them. He does not even schedule appointments that are never on time. Even the faith by which the grace is acquired is a gift that God pours out freely through His Word.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Metatarsalgia & Morton's Neuroma

Yesterday I was listening to “Take Your Health To Heart with Dr. Galichia” on KNSS Radio and at the very end of the program a gentleman asked about Metatarsalgia & Morton’s Neuroma. The symptoms were typical and the man sounded very tired of dealing with the continual burning and pain in his feet. He told how he has tried custom made orthotic inserts and other methods but with no real relief. I wanted badly to call in with the help that I have received, but the show was over. The doctors spoke of cortisone injections as the next step and then surgery. I was very disappointed at their answers.

I visited a podiatrist on July 17 and received help, genuine help.

I, too, have purchased expensive orthotic inserts and received a degree of help, but eventually the symptoms return. I have metatarsalgia and Morton’s neuroma. For years my feet have hurt, often with burning as though I had a piece of burning charcoal inside the balls of my feet. As an arborist, my feet endure long days of non stop abuse. At the end of the day I often have had trouble walking because of the pain. I recently received a series of ultrasound treatments at considerable cost and no noticeable benefit, except to the chiropractor’s income.

However, the podiatrist examined my feet and visited with me for a few minutes and told me he had the answer. I doubted him, but gladly tried his suggestion. He gave me three pairs of inserts, and installed the first pair for me in my tennis shoes. He also prescribed some anti-inflammatory medication for a period of two weeks. After leaving his office, wearing my shoes with the inserts, I noticed immediate relief. Within a half hour, as I drove to Walmart to get the prescription filled, I noticed further relief. I wondered whether I was experiencing a psychosomatic response to his enthusiastic suggestions. But over the past weeks my feet have continued to improve. I stopped taking the medication and the pain has not returned. I have not experienced this kind of relief in years.

I am truly amazed at the relief that I am experiencing and I want to share the information for anyone else who may desire to try these pads. Amazingly they are very inexpensive, not like the orthotic inserts that cost between $160.00 - $280.00 and last only a year or two. These cost only about $5.00 to $10.00 per pair.

I still experience some symptoms, of course, but the relief has been amazing. The pads can be purchased through Hapad, Inc. at 800-544-2723 or at their web site at Hapad, Inc.

The pads that the doctor gave to me are Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pads. I am using them possibly a bit over sized so that some folk may consider them uncomfortable, but for me the relief is well worth it.

I am including a picture below of the ones that I am using. There are different styles, but these are working wonders for my symptoms.

Perhaps someone that you know can benefit from them as well.

By the way, I continue to take a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric once or twice a day, which also helps with inflamation. My wife also takes turmeric for her headaches. She used to have headaches almost every day, bad ones. She has not had a headache in about four months, ever since she began taking turmeric (the yellow spice in mustard) every day. Turmeric also gives almost instant relief for heartburn.

Here is the picture of the Hapad inserts.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Code Breakers

In the 2005 Movie “Code Breakers” the noted code is stated as: At West Point, Honor Is A Code That Must Never Be Broken.

Coach Red Blaik is the head coach for the Army team, which stands undefeated. The pressure is high to maintain this 27 win streak. The coaches press hard. The players feel the pressure. Grades in classes must remain as high as the performance on the field. But some of the players find this to be impossible. They seek help. Some of the players form a group, where students take the exams, later recording the questions to pass on to their hurting teammates. This is cheating and breaks the code that all cadets swear to uphold. Even a member of the honor committee is part of the code breakers’ group.

They get caught. They pay the price: disgrace and resignation from the academy.

When asked what to do, Coach Blaik tells his players to tell the truth, but he also tries to get them excused. He fails.

In the concluding scenes, Blaik’s son, Bob, one of the football players that passed information on to his teammates, after resigning, prepares to leave home. He packs and goes downstairs where his mother pleads with him. Then he bids goodbye to his father.

Mrs. Blaik: You were dismissed from the academy, not from your own home.
Bob: Mom, I love this house, but it’s right in the thick of it.
Mrs. Blaik: Do you have a couple of minutes? I’ll make you something for the bus.
Bob: Sure.

Bob turns and goes to his father’s home office where Coach Blaik is working on football plays, (knowing that his son is preparing to leave home).

Bob: Goodbye Father.
Coach Blaik: And that’s it.?
Bob: What can I say?
Coach Blaik: Well, you could apologize for that display outside the barracks.
Bob: I said exactly what I wanted to.
Coach Blaik: You read what I told the Press downtown? Or were you too busy feeling sorry for yourself?
Bob: I read it. It’s full of excuses for all of us. There are no excuses.
Coach Blaik: I tried to set the record straight on your behalf.
Bob: Dad, you were trying to win. You’re always trying to win. The Honor Code isn’t about winning. It’s about the truth.

Coach stands in humbled silence while Bob extends his hand as a final gesture of parting. Father embraces his son with gentle sobs.

Bob’s final words strike me strongly. How often in the churches both the people and the leaders forget that the honor code is not about winning. It is about the truth. Bob realizes that he cannot remain at home because the house that he loves is “right in the thick of it.” He leaves to start over while his father goes on to rebuild and regroup so as to win again.

To Bob, the life of honor was more than good words and more than admitting the truth. To Bob, the truth was life. He chose the way of the truth even above his family and home. When he realized how badly he had betrayed the truth, he did more than admit his failure: he did a 180 degree turn and followed the truth. Actually, perhaps more accurately stated, having been turned 180 degrees so as to be facing the truth again, he did not turn back to those things that were “right in the thick” of battling for the victory rather than following the truth as the victory.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:57)

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ocean City, MdBizarre and Disturbing

According to the Press in an article, Search of Md. mother's home complete, the investigation continues but the search of the home is complete. One of the investigators made a seemingly unfitting statement regarding the evidence that was gathered, “"Nothing they got was a surprise," he said without elaborating.”

Somehow that statement does not fit with the circumstances. The entire scenario is surprising, shocking, abhorrent.

Regardless of the cause of the deaths of these little babies, who would imagine the mother keeping the remains as this woman has done? This is very surprising and shocking. As Pr. Chryst at Preachrblog in his post The Latest Abortion News... comments, “Mostly, though, the whole thing just makes me sick.”

It is interesting, that the first conclusion that most everyone assumes is that this woman deliberately ended the lives of her unborn children. We do not yet know. Nevertheless, whether or not she caused their deaths, she is a very troubled person. Why would she act as she has? As Scott Scofield comments at The Latest Abortion News..., this is a matter of aloneness. He points out that both our society and this woman express this aloneness. Society by its method of reporting the “news” and this woman by her abhorrent actions.

Truly this woman must have felt very alone to act as she did. To whom did she feel that she could turn? Whether she killed her babies, or whether she lost her babies through neglect or even circumstances beyond her control, she acted out her sense of aloneness.

Certainly she is not alone. By the way, she does have a name, Christy Freeman. But she is not alone in her aloneness. She has an entire cosmos filled with people who daily face this same aloneness, this separation from the good and complete identity with which the human race was created. Every person living on the earth encounters the awareness of this horrible and hopeless loss of the image in which we were created. No one knows by nature where to turn.

But the Lord God has intervened. He has sent His Word to the world so that no one needs to perish alone.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:16-21)

When we “do the truth” we come to the light that our “deeds may be made manifest.” Doing the truth is more than merely acknowledging the truth. Doing the truth is living the truth. How can this be done? How can anyone Do or Live the truth? The answer is clearly stated in the Scriptural quote above, “they are wrought in God.” The truth is not done by what we do, but by what God does. When God joins us to Himself in Holy Baptism, when He urges and commands us to eat His body so that He renews us in Him and to drink His blood so that His forgiveness and life are renewed in us, the truth is done in us. Then we find that no matter the circumstance, no matter even how badly we have failed to live according to the truth by our own efforts, we nevertheless are not alone, for we are living by the mighty power and working of God, living in communion with Him.

This is what Christy needs to hear. This is what we all need to hear. In the Holy Communion that Christ has established on earth for us, we truly are not alone, for He comes to us and does not leave us as orphans. He provides for us the sanctuary that we so desperately seek for ourselves. If only we will stop seeking for ourselves and stop trying to build safe havens for ourselves, then we will set aside all of our own works and come to the light, where the deeds of Christ are made manifest, and we see that all things are worked in Him for us. Then we have nothing more to hide but confess openly our own unworthiness so that we may freely receive without any hindrance the truth of God’s gracious love and presence. Then we are safe and at home.

Minneapolis Bridge Collapses

At the time of this writing, the horrible news is still fresh and available at KSTP News.

Such news shocks the world. We tend to think that our technology is dependable. We tend to believe that when we build something that it will stand. We expect that our governmental departments, especially the departments of transportation, keep our massive transit systems safe.

Then an event like today happens. The bridge that we travel daily collapses with many people using it.

When death stares us in the face, when our technology and genius fails us, when our best laid plans turn to dust, we react with fear and anguish.

Having faced death a number of times myself, I can vouch for the fact that death scares the wits out of a person. Even though I have known all my life that I am safe in God’s grace and that death has no everlasting power over me, nevertheless, when death has grabbed hold of me, I was afraid. While I look forward to and even pray for the Lord to take me to be with Him, dying is a frightening thing to face.

I myself have nearly been cut in half by my safety lanyard, fell through the floor of an 87.5 ft. forestry tower, and watched helplessly when a very large bull buffalo charged my wife. Such events can only be summarized and put into proper perspective by the following Psalm:

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

Indeed, we each need the Lord to teach us to number our days, realizing that our lives are in His hands. Thereby we will turn from trusting in anything else so that we rely upon Him in all things. Then, and only then, we live in absolute safety. No one knows the day or the hour of his own death, but trusting in God’s mercy in Christ Jesus, we each stand in awe as God turns our fear to confidence, our weaknesses to strength, our doubts to peace.

We can use technology and human reason to set aside temporarily our fears and our doubts, but eventually something like today’s bridge collapse brings our false confidence to full view. Only The Lord can provide the peace that surpasses all understanding. Only the Lord can deliver from death and the fears that we face on account of our mortality. And in Christ, He does.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Casinos in Wichita - Why Not?

Gambling, also called gaming is anything but a game. In these so-called games, one party has a very carefully calculated investment with predetermined returns. The losses or pay-outs on these investments are so small that they are hardly even counted. The game is to see how many people can be played so as to throw their own capital against enormous odds.

The game is like watching a cat that has found a mouse. The cat plays with the mouse, biting at it and batting it around until the mouse is so weakened and injured to have nothing left to sacrifice. Then the cat very often walks away to leave the mouse to die a slow and unhappy death.

Only with gaming the cat does not go out hunting mice with which to play, but sets bait in the areas where the mice live. The bait is very seductive and addictive. The bait leads to the place of the “game,” where the gullible mice imagine that they have a chance, convinced by the occasional mouse that escapes with a bit of something to carry away.

Entire communities of mice are persuaded to accept the gaming centers in their communities, either because the centers are built without consulting the mice or because some of the mice work for the fat cats, and are not troubled by watching the demise of their fellow mice.

Such is the situation facing Wichita today. On one side are the fat cats who seek to establish their lucrative gaming facilities in the area. The fat cats include the former mayor and his many “investment partners” and the local and state governments, who hope to use this as a new means of taxing the community. On the other side of the issue are local business owners who know by watching other communities that their businesses will suffer as people spend their incomes at the casinos rather than at local establishments.

Then there are the people, that is, the mice. Many are excited about the opportunity to have more forms of entertainment in their community. They tell themselves that gambling is not the same as stealing, because after all, it is just entertainment with the addition of the hope of a quick increase in income. The fact that their hope for a lucrative adventure is based upon many other people losing is ignored, based upon those people acting upon the same sense of greed.

But what it teaches within the community is that what happens to others is not the concern of those seeking to get ahead themselves. It engenders an attitude and mindset of looking out for oneself without care for one’s neighbors. It says to everyone observing the gaming activities, and especially the young, that the only thing that matters is winning, regardless of the effects that others experience.

Casinos and the acceptance of casinos does impact the community in long term effects.

For an example of what the effects are go to My Lotto Corner. This report declares, “The current formula transfers $80,000 to the Problem Gambling Grant Fund.”

While this may first seem like a generous and humanitarian action, consider what the cause of this need is! If not for legalizing gambling, if not for the state seeking to make money from the gullible, such a fund would not be necessary. The real picture is that the state helps to create gambling addicts who destroy their lives and living through state sponsored gambling, and then justifies the promotion of destruction by a token payback into a “Problem Gambling Grant Fund.”

According to the Kansas Lottery Web Page entitled: Where The Money Goes, “The Lottery's Fiscal Year 2006, which ended June 30, 2006, was the best year in Lottery history with $235 million in sales and $67.1 million transferred to the state.” With a pay out of 56 percent, or 131.6 million dollars, the State and lottery operators hauled in a whopping 103.4 million dollars. This means that 7.73 percent was “donated” to help those who were enticed into acting upon their greedy stupidity and gullibility so as to destroy themselves. This is barely more than the amount spent on administrative expenses.

When this is the publicly displayed attitude concerning the value of human life, what can we expect from the children who grow up observing such a display by the leaders and people of the community? Can we expect them to grow to be citizens who care for their fellow citizens and treat others with respect? Can we expect them to consider it proper to give an honest day’s work for a day’s wages? Can we expect them to reject the notion that selling drugs to children is an acceptable way to make money? Can we expect that their future business dealings will not be designed to take advantage of the elderly and uninformed public?

What do we really support by publicly supporting the gaming industry?

Perhaps in the end it does not really matter, after all, we can always increase the mill levy in support of the schools. That always seems to assuage the conscience for a while. After all, these issues are merely matters of money anyway.