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A little something from back in the day.

A little something from back in the day.

For the life of Jesus and him crucified stop bashing or hating on the poor, the homeless, the homosexual, the Muslim and everyone else who might seem from a distance to be so “different” and, in your view, so wrong, or weird, or dangerous.

The Christian way is to engage others and get to know them and hear their stories. (From the standpoint of evangelism, how can you be the example of Christian love and grace to them if you withdraw from them, much less bash them or hate them without even knowing them?)

As Pope Francis says, “Jesus is a physician, not a judge.”
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Real Reporter Shep Smith, naming names and fearlessly detailing recent history on Iraq at FOX News and the emotional tide for more war in Iraq is rising high.

Real Reporter Shep Smith, naming names and fearlessly detailing recent history on Iraq at FOX News as the emotional tide for more war in Iraq is rising high.



Shep Smith is more often than not the voice of reason at FOX News, frequently going off the ultra-conservative FOX reservation on issues like gay marriage and others.

He won me over years ago, back when he was on the ground reporting on the catastrophe that was Katrina, when he slam-dunked Sean Hannity, in a live report, for trying to play down the severity of the storm.

    “Why don’t you come down and see how bad it is for yourself, Sean? I don’t have the words to describe the suffering and devastation.”

Here’s how the Real Reporter at FOX opened his afternoon program Friday:

    “Are we about to be drawn back into a conflict in Iraq? The same people who 12 years ago told us this will be quick, this will be easy, this will be inexpensive, they will see us as liberators, it’s the right thing to do, are now telling us, ‘It’s the right thing to do.’ What’s the endgame? Who’s thought this through?”

I happened to be tuned in yesterday when the Real Reporter opened his program with this hard-hitting history lesson about our first catastrophe in Iraq, when America was hell-bent on exacting revenge on somebody–anybody!–in the wake of 911.

Here Shep not only names the names of the warmongers who whipped the country into a foam the first time we debated Iraq, he also recalls exacting details to Chris Wallace, underscoring just how utterly wrong a couple of our American leaders were in the buildup to Iraq:

    “I don’t think people understand how serious this is yet. I’m talking about people out there because what happened was, we went to war after they told us, Paul Wolfowitz stood up and told us there are no sectarian troubles in iraq, remember? he was talking to Eric Shinseki at the time Chris, remember that? Said there are no sectarian problems in Iraq like we’ve seen in other places, they’re not going to rise up against each other. There’s no evidence of that. That’s what they told us.

    “Then we went in there, we went in for eleven years, then we drew down as President Bush set a time line and president Obama got out. And when we drew down we asked to keep some soldiers there And Nuri-al Maliki said no to an agreement. Then we left. Their sectarian civil war began and they’re ringing us up on the phone asking us to come back because the half million men we trained quit, have melted away in the face of a few hundred insurgents. That’s what they’re wanting.

    “Is there anybody pushing back?”

Not many at FOX are pushing back except Shep, God bless his fearless reporter heart.

I’ve been praying this morning for the innocent men, women and children in Iraq and the throughout the Middle East who are real people like you and me, who have names and faces as you and I do, and who are all made in the same image of God. Whatever Jesus would do, he sure as hell wouldn’t be calling to “bomb them back to the Stone Age” and let his Father above separate ’em.

I’ve been praying also that cooler heads will prevail in American leadership this time. That we won’t go half-cocked into another folly of a military adventure without, as Shep Smith says, thinking it through this time.

Let us pray, pray, pray, and let us think this time rather than riding the tide of avenging emotions.

Old and very old TV commercials that’ll make you go, “Wow!”

(With respects to the Mad Man, Ad Man Don Draper.)

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I just turned on the computer to catch the news and of course there’s news of yet another shooting at a school, this one in Oregon.

Gun violence is so casual that it’s hardly news at all anymore.

But violence, not just the kind involving guns, is now thoroughly embedded in the American heart and soul. I do believe that our problems are not so much about guns nor even about mental illness–even the most peaceful countries have their share of the mentally ill–as about our discontented hearts and minds.

Our culture is saturated and soaking with blood and violence and small wonder given the amount of violence that a child is exposed to on TV, movies and games, the amount of violence children are exposed to in the language that we adults use, the amount of vitriol in politics and in the casual demonizing and hatred expressed for people who are “different” and don’t fit the cultural “norms.”

We have seen the enemy and guess who it is?

Be the peace you want to see in the world.

“Lord in your mercy, hear this prayer for an America that is a genuine peaceable kingdom of the sort envisioned in Isaiah 11, where …..

    6 The wolf shall live with the lamb,
    the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
    the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
    and a little child shall lead them.
    7 The cow and the bear shall graze,
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
    8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
    and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
    9 They will not hurt or destroy
    on all my holy mountain;
    for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

Thanks to http://www.ambergristoday.com for these views of Belizean sites from a drone:

Francisco Sandoval of the professional aerial video and photography company SkyCam from Guatemala just recently visited Belize with a couple of his remote controlled helicopter drones and compiled this great video of Belize’s natural beauty.

In the video you can see amazing images of Goff’s Caye located offshore Belize City, Cayo Espanto in Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and of the Maya Temples at Xunantunich, Cayo, Belize. The video is very professionally done and speaks of the great services of SkyCam Guatemala.

Guess who at "El Castillo," the Maya temple at Xunantunich, which is featured in the video above.

Guess who at “El Castillo,” the Maya temple at Xunantunich, which is featured in the video above.

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