Archive for January 23rd, 2006

The Faith of the Centurion

Monday, January 23rd, 2006


And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.”
Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.”

And the servant was healed that very moment.

Matthew 8:5-13 (New American Standard Bible)

Romney: U.S. At Risk of Losing Superpower Status

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

It really doesn’t bother me much if we loose superpower status, but I have to take this opportunity to speak out about the U.S. loosing ground in education and technology.
What our liberal education system fails to realize is that their methods relating to “no one left behind” and “how do the students ‘feel’ about everything” is completely backwards and doesn’t teach our children how to be competitive in today’s world.
The “dumbing down” of education in order to make sure no one feels left out, the “no one wins because we don’t want anyone to loose” mentality and the “anything goes as long as it feels good and doesn’t hurt anyone” mantra are ill preparing our children to make sound, logical decisions.
Our children are taught that no one looses, but then arrive in the “real word” after completing their “education” only to find out that not only will they loose, they will loose regularly and they will loose badly. They will not be prepared for this…they were never taught to loose. They were never taught to grow and learn from loosing. They were never taught to pick themselves up and move forward, learning not to make the same mistake again. No, they will only think, “that’s not fair” and stew in confusion and anger at how the “world has treated them”.
Why are we loosing superpower status?
How can we keep it when our children spend time in math class writing in a journal about how they “feel about math” instead of working problems? When they do work problems, it’s only a few problems because (school administrator talking) “we don’t want the kids to ‘feel’ overloaded”. The problems are limited to the ones that will appear on the test at the end of the year. The test that decides how much money the school gets. “Teach to the test” is the new buzzword.
Educators can continue to come up with all the cute buzzwords and teaching methods they want to, but in the end, they will all fail. I encourage the educators to look at what their predecessors did. They knew how to teach, and our nation was second to none in the technological advances. Take the hint. Get back to basics. Right now, you’re getting an “F”.

OMAHA, Neb. — The United States is losing ground in education and technology and could lose its status as world superpower, said Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.
Romney, who is pondering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination, met with activists in western Iowa on Friday before heading to Omaha to raise money for the local Republican Party.
A one-term governor, Romney is building ties with activists who play key roles in Iowa’s precinct caucuses, which traditionally lead off the presidential nominating season.
Addressing activists in Omaha, Romney said the nation is “asleep at the switch” and needs to focus on improving its technology or risk being overtaken by emerging countries such as China.
He also urged higher education standards in the United States, which he said lags behind more than two dozen countries in academic achievement.
“There’s nothing as vulnerable as entrenched success,” he said.
In a nod to the conservative makeup of Iowa and Nebraska, Romney addressed family values in his speech and lamented court rulings that allowed gay marriages in his state.
“We believe in the sanctity of life,” he said. “We also believe in family.
“Our family structure has been very much under attack in our country today.”
Romney made a case for his possible presidential candidacy, saying his election to governor in a heavily Democratic state proves he also appeals to moderates and conservative Democrats.
He also touted his record as governor of Massachusetts, which erased its $3 billion budget shortfall without raising taxes.
“We’re going to keep on battling on all these issues,” Romney said. “I don’t win all the battles as a conservative Republican. I lose a lot of the battles back there.”
Romney aides said he will decide whether to seek a presidential nomination shortly after this year’s midterm election.
Romney will spend Saturday campaigning in heavily Republican western Iowa. He will also raise money for Iowa legislative candidates at an event held by House Speaker Chris Rants, R-Sioux City.

Hindu Extremists Attack Christians in India

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

I was not aware until recently that Christians in India are persecuted almost as much there as they are in the muslim countries. For example, they are routinely beaten while many times the police turn a blind eye. Also, before a person in India can convert to Christianity, they must register with the local magistrate. They cannot officially convert before being “approved” after a lengthy legal process.

Hindu extremists attacked Christians in two incidents in the same district of Andhra Pradesh state on January 12 and 13, in one case dragging a pastor from a child’s birthday party and kicking him unconscious.
In all, seven Christians, including two pastors, sustained injuries.
In Nizamabad district at 11 a.m. on January 12, a mob of about 100 extremists attacked a group of Christians as they distributed pamphlets near a bus stand, said Bhaskar Ghosh, district secretary of the All India Christian Council (AICC).
The mob beat Pastor M. Aaron of the Indian Pentecostal Church and a Bible student, Madhu Kumar, and burned the pamphlets.
Leading the extremists was Jaipal Reddy, a full-time worker of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarti Parishad (All India Students Council or ABVP), the student wing of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). The mob comprised students belonging to the ABVP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of the BJP.
The distribution of Christian pamphlets was part of a convention at Nizamabad’s Polytechnic Grounds for 170 Bible students from the Bharat Bible College, in the capital city of Hyderabad.
Aaron told the police that his attackers tried to take him to an isolated place to burn him alive. He said they carried a can of gas that they intended to pour on him and set aflame. The police, however, arrived on time to rescue him.
Police promptly brought Aaron to a nearby hospital, where he was given first-aid. Aaron and Kumar received minor injuries.
Later in the day, about 3,000 Christians from throughout the district marched in protest. The procession, from the Church of South India at Kanteshwar to the office of the superintendent of police, demanded the prompt arrest of the attackers.
The One-Town police station had arrested 10 of the accused at press time. “We arrested four persons on January 13, followed by two on January 15 and four on January 17,” said Waheer Uddeen, sub-inspector of the police station.
The 10 suspects were charged with rioting, hurting religious sentiments, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation.
The sub-inspector confirmed that the attack was led by ABVP worker Reddy. “The RSS and the ABVP were responsible for the attack,” he said.
In a separate incident, extremists belonging to the RSS attacked Christians as they attended a birthday party at Domakonda village in Nizamabad on January 13.
“The attack took place at 11:30 a.m. in the house of Srinivas Balraju, a Christian who was celebrating his daughter’s birthday with his other Christian friends,” said Sam Paul, secretary of public affairs of the AICC.
While Balraju and five guests – Pastor Nagani Swami David from Biswapur, Thuddam Anil, Vanka Raju, Raikala Dayakar and Ramagalla Ramesh – were praying for Balraju’s daughter, 10 RSS workers stormed the house. Holding the Christians by their collars, they dragged all of them outside the house and beat them.
Kadiri Mohan Reddy, an RSS supporter, allegedly led the group of extremists. They kicked David and the others in the chest and abdomen; David fell unconscious there. The other four also suffered stomach injuries.
When Balraju and his sister-in-law tried to stop the attackers, they also were roughed up.
After the attack, the extemists put David on their motorbike and took him to the Pochamma (Hindu goddess) temple and threw him there. Then they fled from the scene and went to the police station, where they alleged that they attacked David because he was tearing off pictures of Hindu gods.
Some local people saw David lying on the floor and took him to a hospital. The other victims also went to a hospital for first-aid.
Janaki Reddy, inspector at the Domakonda police station, said his unit arrested nine of the accused and charged them with house trespassing, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, and hurting religious feelings.
Andhra Pradesh state is ruled by the Congress Party, with Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy, a Christian, as the chief minister. The BJP and the RSS accuse Reddy of giving a free hand to Christian missionaries in the state.
Two pastors, K. Daniel and K. Isaac Raju, were brutally killed near Hyderabad in May of last year (See Compass Direct, “Second Pastor Found Dead in Andhra Pradesh, India,” June 6, 2005).