Mortal enemy

“You remind us that how you treat somebody defines who we are”
Quote by Col William Percival regarding his meeting with Gunter Grawe
a former German POW who was interred in Washington St at what is now
Joint Base Lewis-McChord— who, some 70 odd years later, returned at age
91 to visit the camp)


(a spotted orb weaver just outside my closet window—too close / Julie Cook / 2017)

He was mad at his ex mother-n-law and that’s why he did it.
Makes sense right?

No, I didn’t think so either….

But more on that in a bit….first the spider…

Those of you who know me know that I am quite terrified of spiders.
And much to the chagrin of my husband and daughter-n-law, my son seems to
have inherited this fanatical fear.
Some call it a phobia, I call it a state of paralyzing terror ….

Dealing with any kind of snake, any sort of reptile…is a piece of cake…..
but let an arachnid show up— and it’s all over but the screaming!

So when I opened the shutters the other morning in my closet, I was greeted
with the sight of this orb weaver having set up camp right outside my window.
It was all I could do to take the picture without perishing.

Yet don’t they say facing one’s fear is how to best beat it??

Well personally I think stomping, swatting, smashing or simply running away
screaming works just as well.

So you would think that I consider the spider to be my mortal enemy right?

Well, yes and no.

Now whereas a spider can indeed kill a person, chances are that is not going
happen, not unless you live in say Australia where their spiders are truly lethal.

But here in Georgia we have just a couple of “deadly” spiders.
We have the Black widow, the brown widow and the brown recluse—
with each one causing terrible reactions when one is bitten…
and if bitten just in the right spot, a bite could actually lead to death—-
Yet those odds are not as great as just suffering form severe tissue loss
at the site of the wound.

And whereas I do “fear” spiders, they are not my true mortal enemy.

My true mortal enemy however does walk this earth.
He is very much, and for the loss of a better association of words,
alive and well.

I’m talking about that which comprises all evil…

Satan, a dark and sinister ironic bearer of light.

On Sunday our Nation witnessed another unimaginable horror.
The senseless and tragic mass shooting of a church congregation.

Just like most everyone else, a peaceful fall November Sunday was suddenly
punctuated by Breaking News…with word coming out of a tiny town in Texas that
a gunman had gone into an equally tiny Baptist Church shooting, killing and
wounding almost the entire congregation present during that morning’s service.

I sat glued to the television as I kept checking my phone and computer for the latest
updates. Like Newtown’s Sandy Hook…it seemed as if madness had once again,
crossed that imaginary uncrossable line.

Not that each time we have a mass tragedy it isn’t madness…it’s just that we,
as humans, seem to believe that some things are off limits when it comes to
that which is horrible….
yet sadly we are learning that nothing, absolutely nothing, remains “off limits” to
that which is Evil.

I was perplexed, as I was reading the updates, as they were laced with the personal observations of those who immediately began calling for the banning of guns or that
this had somehow been Trump’s fault…
on and on went the litany of blame.

Because that’s how we now seem to be as a people—it’s how we seem to deal with
things—
We don’t even wait for full details.
We don’t allow for shock which gives way to grief and sorrow…
Rather we immediately seek a reason, a rationale, an answer—
because, by God, there has to be an answer…otherwise we have no option but to
acknowledge that there are just some things totally beyond us and beyond our control…
and we just can’t handle that idea…

I posted a comment the other day on a fellow blogger’s site with much the same
sentiment—as person after person kept asking how and why…
I knew how and I knew why.

People were pointing accusatory fingers…”this is the fault of the NRA,
“it’s the fault of the Republicans”,
“this is the fault of those who support the President”
“this is the fault of white America”….on and on went the ugly banter….

Was it President Clinton’s fault for Columbine?
Was it President Obama’s fault for Sandy Hook?
No.
Just like this is not the fault of President Trump.

A man who claimed he had issues with his former in-law’s.
A man who had actually filed legally for the application to possess
a gun license despite having a criminal past.
A man who had been courtmartialed.
A man who had been held in Military detainment for a year.
A man who had beaten his wife and fractured his stepson’s skull.
A man who had assaulted his own dog…
A man who had been dishonorably discharged from the AirForce….
…this man walks into his former in-law’s church and destroyed as much life
as he possibly could….as the in-laws weren’t even present.

There are no reasons…
because anything remotely attempting to be a reason
would merely be an excuse—because simply put, there are no reasons for this.

It would not have mattered if all the guns were gone.

I heard last night some stats to the effect that if all the guns were banned right
this very moment, there would still be 5 million out there.
So then you’d have those folks going door to door collecting—

You can collect all the guns you want but when you have Evil intent on evil,
it matters not if there are guns, or trucks, or bombs, or hatchets, or
planes or poison—
Evil will destroy everything in its wake when it so desires…
that is what Evil does.

And so we now consider the opening quote I chose to use this morning…

I follow a terrific blog—Pacific Paratrooper—a great blog about the history
of WWII with the specifics being confined to the fighting on the Pacific front.
The history lessons are excellent as well as the stories of those brave men
and women who fought and served, yet are leaving us daily due to time and age…

Yesterday’s story was about a former German POW who was interred actually here in the States for three years until the War’s end.
It seems that 4000 or so German prisoners of war were actually held here in the
states…
Their experience here being a far cry from those prisoners who were held in the
Death Camps of Nazi Germany and even later, those held in the Gulags of the USSR.

Herr Grawe, at 91, wanted to come back to visit the US camp,
wanting to see one last time, the place that he has long admitted actually
saved him.

He declared his capture by the Americans at the age of 18 was “his luckiest day,”
“No guard called us nasty names. I had a better life as a prisoner than
my mother and sister back home in Germany.”

On the flip side we have seen those former surviving prisoners who have returned,
albeit reluctantly or be it defiantly, to view the German death camps…
camps they survived but places in which left them permanently damaged.

A contrast of human survival…survival at the hands of fellow human beings.

Col. Percival reminds us that we are defined by how we treat others.

So in the upcoming days, weeks and months we as a Nation will be judged by a world
who looks intently at how we will react to our latest sorrow.

But in all of this, it would behoove each of us to remember who the real enemy is….
and that is Satan…..
the master of all lies and deception, the creator of all hate and division.
Our mortal enemy…..

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath,
for it is written:
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord.
On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:17-21

https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/wwii-german-pow-returns-to-say-thanks-intermission-story-27/

Newsflash

“Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind,
as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

G.K. Chesterton


(the sole remaining apple as the deer ate the other one / Julie Cook / 2017)

On Wednesday there was a confrontation.
The confrontation being just one more bizarre piece to an already bizarre and crazy puzzle
that seems to be continually playing out now daily in our lives.

Sigh.

There was a senate confirmation hearing for the position of deputy director of the
White House Office of Management and Budget.
Now that doesn’t sound like a fun job to me but I suppose someone has got to do it and
what a good thing that there are those who want to do so…..

The fellow up for the post is Russell Vought, President’s Trump’s nominee…
who just so happens to be a practicing Christian.
Meaning, Mr Vought is committed to his faith and tries to live his life accordingly.

This seems to be problematic for Senator Bernie Sanders who maliciously grilled
the nominee over, not his competency for the position but rather of all things, his faith.

It seems that Mr. Sanders does not believe that someone who holds the belief that
Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation is competent to hold office.

Last I checked that was pretty much the primary tenant to Christianity…
and Christians have been holding all kinds of posts and jobs since the
formation of this nation of ours with little to no issue over salvation….

The exchange on Mr. Sander’s part was exceedingly heated…even caustic…
culminating in a rant.
However for his part, Mr Vought maintained his position throughout the exchange
in a calm, respectful and dignified manner.

The following link is the story recap to the event:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/06/09/bernie-sanders-attacks-trump-nominee-for-following-teachings-christ.html

So just when I thought that maybe, just maybe, the country…meaning the news media,
the politicians, the lawmakers, the “leaders”, the followers… could all just finally get
back to the business of simply running the country, reporting on real news and simply
getting back to the task of living so that the rest of us could do the same…

here comes Senator Bernie Sanders who is appalled that Christians think that the only way
to salvation is through Jesus Christ…

Newsflash Senator….they’ve been thinking that way for the past 2000 years….

because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart
that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his
lips and so is saved.

Romans 9:9-10

read between the lines

It is hardly surprising that children should enthusiastically start their education at
an early age with the Absolute Knowledge of computer science;
while they are unable to read, for reading demands making judgments at every line.
Conversation is almost dead, and soon so too will be those who knew how to speak.”

Guy deBord

autocorrect_big2

Chances are if you’ve ever received a text from me or even an email or…
ashamedly I confess, if you’ve ever read a post of mine…
you’ve most likely had to read between the lines….

Because between auto-correct, misinformed spell check and a life long issue with a bit of
dyslexia…what you see is often not what you’re meant to get…
Certainly not always what was intended…

However because you know me, or you understand the gist, or you are great at deciphering,
you understand what I’m saying without missing a beat….

Most of us are good like that.

I am heartened by the fact that I have a dear friend who has a automated tag line
on her phone’s messages that reads
“sorry if my iphone decided to spell words entirely on its own!”

What a relief knowing that someone out there understands me and knows
I’m not a complete moron!!!

Yet how good are we at reading between the lines of the times in which we currently
find ourselves living???

Yesterday evening I caught a bit of the news, coming in on a story about a staged walkout
in NYC among the city’s high school kids, with many of the kids appearing to be
Jr High age as well.

It seems that this protest was sent out over social media.
Not having seen the Facebook posts or tweets, I don’t know the gist of the alert but
it seems as if hundreds of kids headed the call at a particular time
to defiantly get up from class, file out of school,
filling and clogging the streets, carrying posters while laughing and chanting.

It seem the walkout was staged to protest President Trump’s travel ban.

A reporter was in the mix, stopping kids, asking them various questions.

Reporter: “What classes are you currently skipping?”

Student: “Calculus”

Reporter: “What happens if the teacher fails you for missing class or for missing a test?”

Student: “F*%k the A@$ hole”

I don’t know…
I taught high school for 31 years…

phrases like “F*%k the A@$ hole” …if I read between the lines, tells me that
this young person has really no clue as to what they’re doing or why they protesting..
they simply skipped Calculus, that’s all….
Plus….

If one of my kids had told a reporter such flippant garbage about me and my class,
well let’s just say the next day’s conversation would have been a bit one-sided…
with me being on the one side…

All the while reminding this young person about what it means to be an example,
how to carry of oneself in public,
self respect, along with a bit of a history lesson involved….
add to that, that I had never given this student any reason to speak about such
in said manner to a reporter,….
I would allow maybe a 10 second rebuttal before making a phone call home….

No reading between the lines on that…pretty frank, pretty clear.

Yet I wonder what the parent(s) would say….

Would the parent(s) defend their 16 year old’s “right” to walk out of a public school?
(public meaning the education is relatively free)
Would they be troubled about their child missing class, using profanity on national
television while addressing an adult…???
What about their child appearing as more hooligan than one who is educated,
well versed and mature ….

Maybe if they were attending a private school, where the parent was having to shell out
upwards of 20 grand a year, walking out might come with an entirely different reaction….

Would they puff up with bravado while supporting a child’s right to cut class and curse while
publicly disrespecting the President of the United States in a crude and crass manner?

Hummmm…

But then we’d get into that whole business about our youth and their self esteem issues
and God forbid that we should dare hold them responsible or accountable for their actions,
good or bad, with resulting repercussions for the bad…

Hence that whole “F#%$ the A$# hole teacher who’d fail me” mentality…

The student was holding a homemade sign.
The reporter asked about the sign.

It read “Punch Nazis”

The reporter reminded the student that she had just told him that she was nonviolent
yet is holding a sign about punching Nazis…

Reporter: “I thought you just said you were nonviolent”

Student: “Oh, uh, I’m against gun violence”

The reporter went on, continuing his off the cuff random interviews of about a dozen or so of
the hundreds of kids, with nary a one of the students interviewed being able to name the
7 countries on the travel ban.

When asked what was wrong with strong vetting of folks wanting come into this country from
known Terrorist nations one student quipped back that “we live in a Terrorist Nation…”

Sigh….

This walkout was just an apparent adolescent attempt to jump on
the currently very sad national bandwagon…

But who can blame them.

Didn’t it look absolutely thrilling when masked salaried anarchists were hurling bricks and
using hammers to smash the plate-glass windows belonging to banks and store fronts along
the streets of Washington D.C. all because an elected president was being sworn in?

And didn’t it look invigorating to see hundreds of women marching en masse while shouting
vulgar slurs while wearing “vagina” hats demanding their rights to abort babies while
cursing the reigning Nazis….

And so we wonder why kids now want in on the act…

So it might behoove us to get better at reading between the lines because the signs of the times
ain’t looking so hot….

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive,
disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable,
slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous,
reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5