21 Names

These are the names of the 21 Coptic Christians slaughtered by ISIS this week:

1. Milad Makeen Zaky
2. Abanub Ayad Atiya                                                  Coptic Christians
3. Maged Solaiman Shehata
4. Yusuf Shukry Yunan
5. Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
6. Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
7. Somaily Astafanus Kamel
8. Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
9. Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
10. Girgis Milad Sinweet
11. Mina Fayez Aziz
12. Hany Abdelmesih Salib
13. Bishoy Adel Khalaf
14. Samuel Alham Wilson
15. Worker from Awr village
16. Ezat Bishri Naseef
17. Loqa Nagaty
18. Gaber Munir Adly
19. Esam Badir Samir
20. Malak Farag Abram
21. Sameh Salah Faruq

As best as I can tell, none of these 21 men were world leaders, or famous athletes, or movie stars, or immersed in wealth, prestige, or privilege. They were ordinary men from all walks of life, much like Jesus’ disciples, who shared a common bond that became their death sentence—a love for and faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Their last few minutes on this earth were recorded in a stylistic and yet utterly diabolical video, set against the surreal background of the Mediterranean Sea. Their Radical Islamic captors—decked out in appropriate black outfits that match perfectly with their charred souls—beheaded each of the men in an orgy of blood, violence, and hate.

While it’s incomprehensible to understand at times, the visceral hate we see worldwide for Jesus and those who follow Him should not surprise us. Jesus himself said: “If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first” and “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” Persecution against the Followers of Christ is certainly nothing new. Satan has been attempting to extinguish the voice of the Gospel from the moment Jesus rose from the tomb. Tertullian, a 2nd-century Church Father, once wrote: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” That Seed has sprouted and bloomed worldwide for two-thousand-years, driven by agents of persecution from the Roman Empire to those who claimed to represent the Church itself. But now those early inquisitors look like rank amateurs compared to the zealous demoniacs of ISIS, who are slicing and burning a bloody swath through the peoples of Iraq and Syria.

Ironically, the ISIS ghouls don’t even realize they are actually fulfilling, however unwittingly, the biblical prophecies of John 16:2 and Revelation 20:4 among others: “[T]he time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God” and “And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God” (Emphasis mine).

What many people don’t realize is that these 21 men could have saved their own lives. All they had to do was renounce Jesus and convert to Islam. But that was impossible for them. They could not turn their backs or their hearts on their Lord who had given his own life for them. God, like He did with the original disciples, transformed these ordinary men into extraordinary giants of faith, so that they did not love their lives so much to shrink from death (Rev. 12:11).

In time, their names will most likely be forgotten by the world and probably even by most Christians, though their courage and faith in the face of unspeakable evil should not be. Their martyrdom should serve as a clarion call to all who claim Christ as Savior to hold fast to the faith no matter the cost, no matter the threat. It should also serve as an omen for things to come from the ever encroaching darkness in this present age.

On that day which Satan meant for so much evil, we know that Jesus turned it into a victorious celebration in Heaven, crowning the 21 with a Victor’s Crown and embraced them with the words every believer yearns to hear, “Well done good and faithful Servant.”

Those 21 names are now forever written into The Lamb’s Book of Life.

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George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1789

I’ve posted George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1789. It’s an eye-opener for those who have been taught that Founding Fathers wanted a purely secular government, devoid of any acknowledgment of or dependence upon God.  Can you imagine any politician submitting this today?   

Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!  Hope you enjoy this and let me know what you think:

“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 encrease 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.” – George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

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Dads Matter

I’ve posted an interesting video commentary from Molotov Mitchell about the movie The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.  The movie depicts the devastation that can be wreaked on children, especially boys, when fathers are absent, weak, or abusive.  I found the piece both challenging and convicting, as well as true to life from my experiences as a police officer.  

After years of continually witnessing the damage done by absent and/or abusive fathers, I came to this conclusion about my own life—my work, books, and other accomplishments will all be washed away by time, but my children and their children’s children will remember and bear the consequences of my decisions, actions, or inaction as a father.  That’s a sobering and downright frightening realization.  I do confess that I certainly haven’t always lived up to that ideal. But God’s grace is good, and He is the ultimate Father and Healer. His grace can bless us and teach us even in our mistakes. However, I would caution young fathers to the prioritize life well and be there for your families.  Generations depend on it.  Let me know what you think of the clip.  God bless! 

http://www.wnd.com/2013/05/a-hollywood-film-shows-consequences/

 

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My Summer Vacation at Parris Island

Thirty years ago today (May 10th, 1983) I arrived at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.  I was unceremoniously greeted with a Drill Instructor’s boot to my hindquarters, which seemed to remain permanently affixed there for the next three months of my summer vacation.  I was not a Christian or a particularly religious young man when I arrived, but I did soon learn that the anti-Christ was alive and well and masquerading at the time under the name of one Sgt. Kirkland—USMC.

Sgt. Kirkland liked me, I think. At least he took a particular interest in me, which is a bad thing on the island.  He often said, as he was thrashing me about, that I was funny and entertaining.  His appreciation of my often ill-timed snarky comments and facial expressions faded quickly when he caught me one day mocking him and doing drill instructor imitations behind his back.  As fate would have it, he caught me when we were out at ICT (Individual Combat Training)—a two week stint in the marshes of Parris Island where we lived in our bivouac shelters and were constantly on the move, immersed in military combat training.  At least that was the official explanation of ICT.  In reality, ICT provided the seclusion necessary for the drill instructors to increase the torture and to field test their most fiendish schemes—the swampland swallowing up even the most robust recruit’s scream.

Well aware that my own death might very well lie before me, I braced for the sure beating that was coming my way.  Sgt. Kirkland surprised me, though, when he announced in front of the entire platoon and our company commander that if I could make him laugh, there would be no punishment.  Having nothing to lose, I gave it my best shot. I suppose with the crystal clarity of hindsight I should have picked any other drill instructor to mock that day. I had practiced them all and had plenty of material to pick from.  But with Sgt. Kirkland standing before me, I just couldn’t resist.  I had the opportunity to send this one belligerent jab his way.  So I took it.  I launched into a full Sgt. Kirkland rant—his voice, his mannerisms, and his quotes.

I was good, quite good if I do say so myself.  Sgt. Kirkland thought so too, as he laughed so hard I thought he would pass out.  For a fleeting moment I thought he might actually honor his promise.  But no such luck with the spawn of Satan.  As soon as the company commander left our camp, Sgt. Kirkland went nose-to-nose with me, his Smokey tapping on my forehead.  Doom crested the horizon.

You could usually tell the difference when the drill instructors were just faking mad or were really mad; that being said, Sgt. Kirkland was in a psychotic frenzy, frothing and all.  I had really stepped in it.  I did pushups, sit-ups, side-straddle-hops (jumping jacks), bends and thrust, and repeated the list until well after everyone else bedded down.  I was finally allowed to go to my tent near midnight.  In the unknown early morning hours, my tent was kicked down and me and my innocent tent mate were beaten and dragged around in circles in the dirt.  I was too exhausted to react.

“The ICT Monster strikes again!” the foul beast cried out in a voice remarkably similar to Sgt. Kirkland’s.  We had been warned that there was a monster in the swamp—the ICT monster—that would randomly attack without provocation.  As elusive as the Yeti, the creature would thump poor unsuspecting recruits and disappear into the night.

In the remaining days of ICT, Sgt. Kirkland (and the ICT monster) unleashed a reign of terror at every opportunity.  Whenever we would stop or take a break, I was exercising at the front of the platoon while they got to eat and drink water.  The ICT monster continued his night visitations.  On our last day of ICT, I was jogging in place with my rifle over my head and my backpack on.  My platoon was eating lunch and enjoying the show, each person just glad it wasn’t them.  Black dots clouded my vision and sweat stung my eyes.  The brutal summer heat bore down on me. The relentless pressure had broken me.  I staggered and the world turned up-side-down as I crashed headfirst into the dirt.  I awoke to my platoon mates pouring water from their canteens on my face.  Sgt. Kirkland stood just behind them, grinning.

“Yo, Mynheir!  You’re looking good, buddy.  Looking good!”

Victory was his.

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One in Custody–Boston PD

Job well done to all the cops–federal, state, and local–who relentlessly pursued
this animal until he was in custody.  The terrorists don’t seem to get some simple realities about Americans.  We have our political differences and some serious problems in our country right now, but when they attack, maim, and murder our innocent civilians–like on 9/11 and Boston–we don’t cower in fear, which is the goal of “terrorism.” We get pissed.  Then the spankings begin.  May God bless the victims of the
bombing, the officers killed and injured, and the many lives affected by this
tragedy.

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Abortion’s Slippery Slope

I’ve posted a story about the trial of Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania. While we rightly label Adam Lanza a monster for butchering innocent children in a school room in Newtown, there’s barely a peep from the media or anyone else about this abortionist ghoul who ran a little shop of horrors in Philadelphia, killing at least five times as many helpless victims with his bare hands as Lanza did with a rifle.  Gosnell (I refuse to put the Dr. in front of his name) committed his atrocities for many years and the details are horrific and disturbing.  I hope most people are sickened and repulsed by the actions of a man who would perpetrate such unspeakable evil on babies.  But if we’re honest and recognize the pure evil of his actions against those children, why isn’t it just as evil when he did exactly the same thing to children in the womb?  After all, the babies he’s on trial for murdering were only a few minutes old.  Had he finished the job in the womb, it would have been perfectly moral–according to some–and even a constitutionally protected right to kill them prior to their birth.  And we really wonder why the value of life seems so cheap in our country anymore?   From Newtown to Philadelphia, our children’s lives are precious and deserving of respect and protection.    I do pray for the soul of our nation.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/04/10/media-Ignore-100-Born-Alive-Babies-NeckSnipped

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My Interview on the Biography Channel

I’ve posted a link to an interview I did with the Biography Channel on a homicide case from several years ago.  The clip is just a few minutes of the production.  Evidently it’s an hour long program called My Evil Sister (nice). They were supposed to tell me when it was to air, but I guess that didn’t happen.  It was on last night and is on again tonight at 3:00 a.m., but I’m not staying up for it.  I can’t stand to listen to my own voice.  They did have some actors filling in some of the scenes for dramatic effect.  The guy playing me had a full head of hair.  I guess that’s what happens in show biz. No one likes a bald detective unless it’s Sipowicz from the old NYPD Blue.  Anyway, at some point I’ll watch the whole thing.  The clip is interesting. Hope you enjoy it.
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