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The Hughes Report
Friday, March 14, 2008
What Obama's Pastor Said
Topic: Democrat Watch
Recently, Barack Obama has begun to be called into question for his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity Unity Church of Christ.  Obama has attended Trinity for 20 years, where Wright married him and his wife, and baptized both their daughters.  Currently, Wright has taken a sabbatical to work in the Obama campaign.  Obama has stated, "What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice. He's much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I'm not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that's involved in national politics" (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 2007).  Obama credits Wright for a sermon that inspired the title of his book, "The Audacity of Hope."

Below are a selection of statements for which Rev. Wright is on record.  Judge for yourselves.

"Jesus was a poor black man who lived in a country and who lived in a culture, that was controlled by rich white people! The Romans were rich. The Romans were Italians, which means they were European, which means they were white -- and the Romans ran everything in Jesus' country.  It just came to me within the past few weeks, y'all, why so many folk are hatin' on Barack Obama.  He doesn't fit the model!"

"Hillary never had to worry about being pulled over in her car as a black man driving in the wrong!  I am sick of Negroes who just do not get it!  Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home! Barack was.  Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people!  Hillary can never know that!  Hillary ain't never been called a n_____!  Hillary has never had her people defined as nonpersons!  Hillary ain't had to work twice as hard just to get accepted by the rich white folk who run everything, or to get a passing grade when you know you are smarter than their C-students sitting in the White House.  Hillary ain't never had her own people say she wasn't white enough!"

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing God bless America?  No, no, no! Not God bless America. God d__n America!  -- it's in the Bible -- for killing innocent people!  God d__n America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d__n America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

"Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse, and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body."

"Hillary is married to Bill and Bill have been good to us?  No, he ain't!  Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinsky!  He was riding dirty!"

[Just after 9/11] "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye.  We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

“America is the #1 killer in the world. We invaded Grenada for no other reason than to get [Prime Minister] Maurice Bishop.”

"America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . .  We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers. . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Qadhafi. . . . We put Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God."

“We invaded Panama because Noriega would not dance to our tune anymore.”

“We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians, and called anyone that spoke out against it as being Anti-Semitic.”

“We do not care if poor black and brown children cannot read and kill each other senselessly. We abandoned the city back in the 60's, back when the riots started. And it really doesn't matter what those ‘Nnnn . . . natives’ do to each other, we gave up on them and public education of poor people who live in the projects. . . . We, with VCRs, TVs, CDs, and portable phones have more homeless than any nation in the world.”

"In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the Western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns."

He calls the United States the "USKKK of A."

"Black women are being raped daily in Africa. One white girl from Alabama gets drunk at a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and gives it up while in a foreign country and that stays in the news for months."

“We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty . . . .  God has got to be SICK OF THIS S___!"

"When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens. Everybody may not agree with him, but they listen . . . .  His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening.  He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest."

"Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience.  His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation's most powerful critics.  His love for Africa and African American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

"No, we would call it Christianity. We've been saying that since there was a white Christianity; we've been saying that ever since white Christians took part in the slave trade; we've been saying that ever since they had churches in slave castles.  We don't have to say the word 'white.' We just have to live in white America, the United States of white America . . . .  As I was trying to say to you, liberation theology . . . I've come to find out he doesn't know anything more about theology than I know about brain surgery. . . .  If you're not going to talk about theology in context, if you're not going to talk about liberation theology that came out of the ‘60s . . . black liberation theology, that started with Jim Cone in 1968, and the writings of Cone, and the writings of Dwight Hopkins, and the writings of womanist theologians, and Asian theologians, and Hispanic theologians . . . then you can talk about the black value system.

Posted by hughes at 7:18 PM CDT
Hell in a Handbasket
Topic: God Help Us!
In the news:

At least 1 in 4 teenage girls in the U.S. has a sexually-transmitted disease.  Teenagers no longer admit that oral sex is sex, and public sexual performances are becoming an increasingly popular activity at teen parties.  Almost 70 percent of black children are born to single mothers.  In the wake of the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal, some of the media elite are suggesting that prostitution be legalized:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-kelly13mar13,1,5719205.story

Modern American society lacks a moral compass, after decades of concentrated left-wing efforts to divorce Western culture from its Christian mores.

One may agree with Detta O'Cathain, Member of Parliament, who said regarding the recent abolition of blaspemy laws in Britain,

"The essential question is:  should we abolish Christian beliefs and replace them with secular beliefs? As long as there has been a country called England, it has been a Christian country, publicly acknowledging the one true God.

"Noble lords may cry freedom, but I urge them to pause and consider that the freedom we have today was nurtured by Christian principles and continues to be guided by them."

[http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/326603]

Posted by hughes at 7:16 PM CDT
Who Will the Candidates Be?
Topic: Politics
I do not claim clairvoyance, but would like to get my presidential campaign predictions on record, based on my observations of the political climate around the country.  Then in the aftermath, we can see how well I did, or not.

Hillary Clinton will be awarded the nomination, through either the undemocratic superdelegate system, or by making a deal with the Democratic National Convention.  She will accomplish this feat by working her deep party connections and making some very big promises to special interests.

Barack Obama will be her running mate, being assured that he will be guaranteed the nomination in 8 years.  His supporters will be mollified by even more promises, in this case of greatly expanded social programs.

John McCain will choose for his running mate -- this is the most daring prediction -- former Democrat Joseph Lieberman.

It is more difficult to predict who will ultimately win the presidency, but I am leaning toward McCain, and will predict that white male voters will be found to be fed up with group politics and political correctness, and rise up in record numbers.

Posted by hughes at 7:14 PM CDT
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Visit to Ron Paul's Hometown
Topic: Politics
I returned from Lake Jackson yesterday, and had promised friends to report what I heard there about Ron Paul.  I preached both services at a church in Lake Jackson on Sunday.  In the morning, my message concerned pastors (shepherds) who neglect or abuse the flock, and will be held responsible for not doing their job.  In the evening, I spoke on the text, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels," which refers to the Gospel message, entrusted to mere mortals, who nevertheless were willing to endure hardship and abuse for its sake.  I used an actual clay pottery vessel as an illustration.

After each service, I went out to eat and fellowship with members, and not being a big talker anyway, kept my ears open for comments on their "favorite son."  In one case, I asked them to tell me about him, but otherwise did not intrude myself with questions, preferring to garner an objective view.  Overall, they seemed to agree that he was a fine man with a reputable medical practice, who told people the truth as he saw it, without obfuscation.  On the other hand, they did not express  approval of his policies, in particular his anti-war stance, and apparently were not active supporters.  In general, they seemed more supportive of President Bush, especially his willingness to take on the terrorists -- in contrast to Bill Clinton, whose response to attacks during his administration had been token at best.

I did see some Ron Paul signs around town, but there did not seem to be much fanfare.  There are a lot of Hispanics in the area, who are likely Democrat voters.

Lake Jackson seems to be a very nice little city, forming a metropolitan area with adjacent Clute and Richwood.  It is located SSW of Houston, SW of Alvin (Nolan Ryan's hometown), and just a few miles inland from the popular Freeport resort area.  The trip by road was just about 100 miles for me, living as I do East of Houston.  The terrain to the immediate SW seems to be low-lying and swampy, so that the town is not expanding in that direction.  A local park I visited had a hike and bike trail going to the other side of a high levee, with "watch for alligators" warning signs.  There were a lot of large water birds around the area, including herons, egrets, and seagulls.

Nearby Brazoria was the headquarters of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred" colony.  He was originally buried there at his plantation, but was later moved to the state cemetery in Austin.  A 70-foot statue of Austin stands north of Lake Jackson near Angleton, like the statue of Sam Houston at Huntsville.  Brazoria was the first capitol of the Republic of Texas.  Unfortunately, the capitol and other historic buildings were destroyed in the 1900 Galveston hurricane, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, in which an estimated 10,000 died.

Paul

Posted by hughes at 3:43 PM CST
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Fool Me Twice...
Topic: Democrat Watch

Fool Me Twice...

It's deja vu all over again!

In 1992, the US was coming out of a recession.  There was a noted uptick in the Economy by the 3rd Quarter.  But it was campaign season, and the Democrats and the Big Media were in full spin mode.  "It's the Economy, Stupid!" was the Clinton campaign slogan.

"Worst economy in fifty years!," Bill trumpeted over and over.  Sure enough, people began to worry and wonder.  They held off spending.  Our little contracting business stopped getting calls.

It was a lie.  Later, when the lie was exposed, Clinton supporters justified it, saying, "But if he hadn't lied, he wouldn't have gotten elected, and be able to carry out his great policies."  Yes, I heard people say that on national TV.

Arrrrggghh!

Now it's campaign season again, and the Media is once more talking down the Economy.  They started out by putting it under a microscope, wondering out loud why it was not faltering under the weight of Katrina, the War, oil prices, the mortgage crisis, etc.  Then they questioned, on every newscast and in every column, how much longer can we live in this dream world?  Is there a recession around the corner?

At last, this constant drumbeat, which the Media does so well, has begun to take a toll.  Sadly, our Economy is no longer based on Production, but Consumerism.  In other words, it is spending-driven.  As soon as spending coughs, the Economy gets a cold.

So fight the System.  Get out there and spend money, and buy American, for the country.  It's the Economy, stupid!

Paul
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Liberalism_Unmasked 


Posted by hughes at 5:02 PM CST
Thursday, January 3, 2008
The Preacher's Mistake
Topic: Christianity
The Preacher's Mistake

by William Croswell Doane

The parish priest
Of austerity,
Climbed up in a high church steeple
To be nearer God,
So that he might hand
His word down to His people.

When the sun was high,
When the sun was low,
The good man sat unheeding
Sublunary things.
From transcendency
Was he forever reading.

And now and again
When he heard the creak
Of the weather vane a-turning,
He closed his eyes
And said, "Of a truth
From God I now am learning."

And in sermon script
He daily wrote
What he thought was sent from heaven,
And he dropped this down
On his people's heads
Two times one day in seven.

In his age God said,
"Come down and die!"
And he cried out from the steeple,
"Where art thou, Lord?"
And the Lord replied,
"Down here among my people."

William Croswell Doane
First Bishop of Albany
1832-1913

Posted by hughes at 1:32 PM CST
New Year's Resolutions Worth Making
Topic: Christianity
Some Resolutions Are Worth Making

New Year's has come around again, and what do people think of at New Year's?  Resolutions.

But New Year's resolutions, or what passes for them, are not what they used to be.  People don't often take resolutions seriously anymore.  We hear about resolutions that have been broken than those which have been kept.

However, there are some resolutions that are worth making, and keeping.  Many of these we find in the Word of God.  Allow me to mention just a few:

1.  "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life" (Deuteronomy 30:19).  The Bible says that God's ways lead to life, but man's ways lead ultimately to eternal death.  Jesus said, "I am the Way the Truth, and the Life; no man comes unto the Father except by me" (John 14:6).  God gives us the freedom to choose which way we will go.  Resolve to choose life in 2008.

2.  "Choose you this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15).  After the death of Moses, Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land and helped them conquer it.  Then he called all the people together.  Joshua reminded them of what God had done for them, and that they must remain faithful to Him.

Like Israel did later, we often play games with God.  We figure we can do our own thing now, and serve God later.  But later is often too late.  God calls us to choose--get off the fence, get in or get out.  God hates lukewarm believers (Revelation 3:15-16).  Resolve to serve God in 2008.

3.  "Repent and be baptized . . . and you shall receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).  On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood and told the crowd that Jesus, whom they had crucified, was in fact the Son of God.  It was Jesus, now exalted to the right hand of God, who produced the miracle of speaking in tongues that they had just seen and heard.

Troubled, the people began to ask, "What are we to do?"  Peter told them, essentially, that they must repent of their sins and undergo a conversion experience; and about 3000 were saved that day.  Even saints need to repent now and then.  Resolve to be repentant, to live a converted life, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit in 2008.

4.  "I do not want you to be ignorant!" (Romans 11:25, etc.).  Again and again, both Peter and Paul admonish the Church not to walk in ignorance, but in knowledge and truth.  The Bible and the preaching of God's Word are readily available to everyone today.  Willful ignorance of God's will is inexcusable (Romans 1:18-32).  Resolve to study God's Word faithfully and to know God's perfect will for your life in 2008.

5.  "Present your bodies a living sacrifice . . . and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:1-2).  Someone has said that the problem with a "living sacrifice" is that it keeps crawling off the altar.  God does not call most of us to die for Him, but He calls all of us to live for him.  Resolve to keep sacrificing your selfish will and lending yourself to do God's will in 2008.

6.  "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16).  Paul recognized his own physical weakness and inability to be perfect before God in his own strength, try as he might.  He said, "What I want to do, I do not do; but what I hate, that I do" (Romans 7:15).

Paul knew he needed the power of God to work through him in order to overcome sin.  Desire to obey God and willpower are not enough (see Galatians 3:3).  Serving God absolutely requires the power of the Holy Spirit working through us.

How do you let the Holy Spirit work in and through you?  It involves all I have said before:  choosing life in Christ, choosing to serve God faithfully, being repentant and undergoing a real conversion experience, being knowledgeable of God's will for your life, offering yourself up to God continually and sacrificially to do His will, and much more.  Walking in the Spirit means being motivated by the Spirit of God rather than by your own desires.  Sure, it's hard, but it must be done.

There are many more great resolutions which we can draw from the Bible.  For instance, just look at those listed in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22.  We can learn a great deal from these admonitions.

So let us resolve together to walk by God's Spirit, not by our flesh, in 2008.
__________________________
©1992, 2008 Paul A. Hughes.  First Published in the Polk County Enterprise, January 5, 1992, p. 5B.

Posted by hughes at 1:29 PM CST
Friday, December 14, 2007
Al Gore, Ban Ki-Moon, and Environmental Hypocrisy
Topic: Global Warming
Al Gore made a show of taking public transportation to his Nobel ceremony in Oslo, but his extensive luggage was transported by a Mercedes van.  Rumor has it, he took a private jet to Oslo in the first place.

In his Nobel speech, Gore likened "Global Warming deniers" to those such as Neville Chamberlain, onetime British prime minister, who tried to appease Adolf Hitler before World War II:

"We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency, a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here.  However, despite a growing number of honorable exceptions, too many of the world's leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler's threat, and I quote, 'They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved only to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.'"

Gore did NOT note that Global Warming advocates are largely Socialists, whom Churchill would consider a far greater threat than the weather.

When asked by CNN correspondent Jonathan Mann, "The Associated Press, among other sources, is reporting that your family home near Nashville, Tennessee, used $1,200 a month in electricity, which is 10 times the average for homes nearby. . . .  Is it true?  Are you a little less green than you seem?" Gore replied, "There's a global warming denier group that put out misleading information."  Pressed by Mann, Gore continued with a rather extensive "non-answer":

"No, [AP] reported what that group said.  And the, the, look, when you try to make a case like this, you are going to have, you're going to have people try to attack the messenger in order to get at the message.  They have not been able to succeed.  But the most important element of this is the message.  And part of what they, part of what these deniers try to communicate is that the only way to solve this crisis is for individuals to make changes in their own lives."

Even the editor of the Harvard Crimson, Peter W. Tilton, takes Gore to task:

"Many Americans would naturally assume Gore follows the green lifestyle he widely promotes, and they would be wrong.  Gore and his wife Tipper, whose children all live elsewhere, reside in a behemoth 20-room mansion outside of Nashville that used nearly 23,000 kilowatt-hours last August, more than twice the annual -- yes, annual -- energy usage of a typical American home.  Gore's preferred mode of transportation between stops on his international publicity tour is his private jet, which spews out CO2 emissions at the rate of a small army of SUVs."

Meanwhile, world leaders have gathered in Bali to talk about climate change, traveling in more private jets than can be parked at the local airport.  The "experts" are calling the Bali conference "the world's last chance to avoid disaster."  The US has been severely criticized for not acceding to the Kyoto accords, by which developed countries are heavily fined for not meeting strict, arbitrary emissions reductions.  In November, however, Weather Channel founder John Colement called Global Warming "the greatest scam in history."  Economist Noel Sheppard calls it a "tax the rich scheme," noting that "rich countries" really means "United States."

Early in December, recently elected Australian prime minster Kevin Rudd, a liberal who had promised to sign on to Kyoto, backed out when he found out the tremendous economic cost his country would incur, noting that other countries "do not necessarily accept those targets, nor do they accept those targets as binding targets for themselves."

Peter Foster of the Financial Post (Dec. 6) writes, "The real theme of this United Nations gabfest . . . is whether globalization and trade liberalization will be allowed to continue . . . or whether the authoritarian enemies of freedom . . . will succeed in using environmental hysteria to undermine capitalism and increase their Majesterium."  He continues, "Just at the point where Marxism was being consigned to the dustbin of history, the more or less concealed power lust that had fed it found a new cause in the environment."

Reporters from more conservative newspapers, namely Environment & Climate News, were denied press credentials and entry to the Bali conference.  Critics also question the intent of Ban Ki-moon, head of the United Nations, to take an around-the-world flight immediately after the conference, including attending a music concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Similarly, Al Gore was isolated from the press at a London fundraiser by an efficient force of bodyguards; and invited guests, who had paid £1,000 to £50,000 to attend, felt insulted by his lack of access, in addition to his £100,000 fee.

On December 13, Gore told an international audience that it is the US that is the biggest obstacle to rescuing the planet, drawing enthusiastic applause and cheers.

"I am going to speak an inconvenient truth.  My own country the United States is principally responsible for obstructing progress in Bali."

Posted by hughes at 3:47 PM CST
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Red State Voter Bumper Sticker
Topic: Politics
Remember those famous Red/Blue state maps that revealed the voting distribution in the last two elections?  They clearly demonstrated that the heartland of America (red) voted for the conservative candidate, and only isolated but populous areas voted for the liberal candidate (blue).

Red State Voters are conservative values voters.  Now you can stand up for your voting values as candidates are still being chosen.  Download my Red State Voter bumper sticker free (click the link below).  It features the 2004 red/blue state map of the United States, with the words "Red State Voter."

The download is a Word file designed to print two bumper stickers per sheet on Office Depot bumper sticker stock, product no. 922-811.  It may be freely distributed for non-commercial, private use.  Copyright notice may not be removed.  Note that I have no deal with Office Depot, but have only made use of their product (not included) because it is readily available.

Paul
http://phugh.tripod.com

Posted by hughes at 6:21 PM CST
Trombone/Trumpet Music Video
Topic: Music
I have just posted a music video on YouTube in which I play "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" on both trumpet and trombone.  Click:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rWJ1tX0C2E

Paul Hughes

Posted by hughes at 6:19 PM CST
Those who can - play
Topic: Music
How is this for a musician's bumper sticker?

Those who can - Play
Those who can't - Listen
(and geniuses compose)

I created a Word file to create the sticker.  You can download it free if you like from my Web site, and print it on standard bumper sticker stock.

Paul
http://phugh.tripod.com

Posted by hughes at 6:17 PM CST
Friday, November 2, 2007
The Golden Compass - Atheist Subterfuge
I pass along a warning I have received from several quarters about the fantasy movie, "The Golden Compass," set to come out at theaters at Christmastime.  Word is, it was written by an Atheist activist as a reaction against faith-based fantasies like those from Tolkien and Lewis.

Links:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Assembly-of-God/post

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

Paul

Posted by hughes at 1:56 PM CDT
The ENRON Acrostic
Topic: Christianity

In discussing the recent ORU scandal and others past, the Prophecy News Watch Newsletter offers the following acrostic, using the word ENRON, describing the roots of scandal in Christian organizations:

"E is for entitlement. Do leaders in your church or organization feel they deserve to be treated like kings? That style may work OK in a monarchy, but Jesus said that in His kingdom leaders must behave like servants. Those with a spirit of entitlement should be disqualified.

N is for nepotism. When leaders show favoritism to family members, they create arbitrary double standards. Christian organizations must stop building spiritual dynasties.

"R is for robbery. If a Christian leader is using donor funds to purchase lavish perks for himself, he is stealing from God. Let's call it what it is. Though the Bible makes it clear that a Christian worker is worthy of his hire, it also condemns ministers who have their hands in the coffer. When the prophet Malachi asked the probing question, 'Will a man rob God?' (Mal. 3:8 NASB) he was not just addressing people who didn't tithe. He was pointing to greedy priests who stole part of the offerings meant for the poor.

"O is for overinflated egos. Too many leaders today are drunk with power. Like Nebuchadnezzar, their pride has caused them to go insane. When an egomaniac drives an organization, you can be sure he will eventually crash and hurt a lot of people in the process.

"N is for negligence. God looks for integrity in the little things. He judges leaders not by the size of the crowd or the volume of their preaching but by the way they conduct themselves when no one is looking."

[Kade Hawkins, Prophecy News Watch Newsletter, October 25, 2007, http://www.prophecynewswatch.com]

Paul 


Posted by hughes at 1:54 PM CDT
Friday, April 6, 2007
Christ, Our Easter Lamb
Topic: Christianity

Christ, Our Easter Lamb

Beginning as early as Genesis, God used the symbol of the innocent lamb as an example of the Christ who was to come.

Technically, this use of prophetic symbolism is known as "typology."  The spotless lamb is a "type" of Christ.

As a shepherding people, the lamb was a symbol with which all Jews could identify. They viewed the lamb as the embodiment of sweet, beautiful innocence, much as we would view a puppy or a kitten.

The prophet Nathan once told King David a story about a poor man who had raised a lamb as his own child. Unfortunately, a greedy rich man stole the lamb and had it slaughtered to feed his guest. David, a former shepherd, was incensed. He declared that the man who had done such a deed was worthy of death (2 Samuel 12).

In his Word, God chose to give us numerous pictures of just such an
innocent Lamb who would be slaughtered undeservedly, sacrificed for the sins of the guilty.

In Genesis 22, God told Abraham to take his beloved son Isaac to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him. At the last moment, God substituted a ram in place of Isaac. As Abraham had told his son, "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering."

When Israel was captive in Egypt, God sent ten plagues upon the Egyptians to force Pharoah to let them go. In the final plague, God sent the angel of death to kill all their first-born.

But God gave Israel a way of escape. They were each to take a spotless, first-born lamb and slaughter it. They were to smear its blood upon their doorposts, and eat its flesh in a memorial dinner.  When the death angel saw the blood, it would pass them by. This was the first Passover (Exodus 11-12).

God instituted various animal sacrifices as an object lesson in sin and forgiveness. When Adam and Eve sinned, God declared that every man would have to die for his own sins. "The soul that sins shall die," He said (Ezekiel 18:4).

But through sacrifice, God showed us that innocent blood could cover our sins. Of course, the blood of animals could never truly pay for human sin. But those paltry sacrifices pointed to the One who would be the ultimate sacrifice.

On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) came a truly special sacrifice. At this annual event, the High Priest would make a sacrifice for the nation as a whole. He would take two goat kids, one of which would become a burnt offering.

The second kid was a sin offering, called the "scapegoat." The High Priest would place his hands on the goat's head and confess over it the sins of the nation. Thus Israel's sin was symbolically transferred to the goat. Then the goat was released in the wilderness, to die in the wild (Leviticus 16).

Both these goats were types of Christ. The first died for Israel's sins. The second, the scapegoat, symbolized the carrying away of their sin, where it would be lost and forgotten. Like the first, Christ died for our sins. Like the second, Christ carried away our sins "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12).

Christ could have called legions of angels to save him from death on the cross. But He had the ultimate task to perform, to die as the spotless Lamb for sinners slain, "who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29).

Christ submitted to this ignominious death. "He was brought like a lamb to the slaughter; and like a sheep that is mute before its shearers, He did not open his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).

In the end, the risen Christ is triumphant. He comes as both Lion and Lamb before the throne of God. He alone is worthy to open the seven seals of judgment (Revelation 5).

Jesus Christ is the spotless Lamb who was killed on that first Easter for my sins and yours. Because He has arisen from the dead, He has conquered death and the grave. His sacrifice long ago has become an eternal sacrifice for all who will believe and follow him, now and forevermore.

"God so loved the world that He gave his firstborn Son, so that whoever believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him" (John 3:16-17).

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

We ought to love and serve, with every fiber of our beings, the kind of God who loved us so much.

Reprinted from Christ in Us: The Exalted Christ and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit (2006) by Paul A. Hughes
http://www.lulu.com/godstrombone and online bookstores.


Posted by hughes at 3:32 PM CDT
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Lincoln Declarations Ignore Separation Principle
Topic: Original Intent

In October 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the first National Day of Thanksgiving.  Earlier that year, he had declared a national day of fasting and prayer.  Both proclamations, below, definitely violate the so-called “separation of church and state” and, in many minds, militate against that notion.

Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of a National Fast Day, March 30, 1863:

“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

“We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

“(signed)

“A. Lincoln”

 

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful Providence of Almighty God.

“In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

“Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility (sic.), and union.

“In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

“Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

“Abraham Lincoln” 

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Posted by hughes at 11:36 AM CST
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Democrat Hypocrisy and Dirty Politics
Topic: Democrat Watch

The Democrats are digging for all the dirt they can get, hoping to take over Congress three weeks from now.  They have demanded that heads roll over the Foley scandal, adopting much higher standards than they exercised in the Democrat-controlled House of 1983, when they let Gerry Studds off with a censure.  Massachusetts liberals continued to re-elect him until his retirement in 1996.  Moreover, no one has dared blame these scandals on homosexuality, which was obviously a major influence.

Now an FBI investigation of Curt Weldon (R-PA) has been conveniently "leaked" to the media.  "What I find ironic," says Weldon, "if there is an investigation, is that no one would tell me until three weeks before the election.  This incident was 2-1/2 years ago."  According to Weldon, there is no substance to the allegation that he helped his daughter win government contracts.  The leak prompted a timely FBI raid of 4 locations.

Meanwhile, Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid, lead critic of the Republicans and the Bush Administration, has been caught in a sweetheart land deal in which he grossed $1.1 million on land he had not legally owned for three years.  Besides the nature of the deal itself, Reid did not properly report his profit to the Ethics Committee.  In a separate scandal, also not as widely reported and sensationalized by the mainstream media as Conservative foibles, Reid was caught having paid Christmas bonuses amounting to $3,300 out of campaign money -- also an ethics violation.  The money went to staff associated with his $750,000 condo at the Ritz Carlton.

Reid was quick to reflect the blame back to Conservatives, calling it the "latest attempt" of Republicans to win the upcoming elections.  "I am reimbursing the campaign from my own pocket," Reid said, "to prevent this issue from being used in the current campaign season to deflect attention from Republican failures."

Either Reid is ruthlessly partisan, or the darkness in his own heart is so great that he assumes that his political opponents must have equally dark motives.  As Jesus Christ said, "The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:23, NIV).  

Furthermore, He said, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (John 3:19-20).

[News Source: Associated Press]
_______________________________
Copyright 2006 Paul A. Hughes


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Posted by hughes at 1:32 PM CDT
The Other Congressional Page Scandals
Topic: Democrat Watch

Democrats are currently trying to milk the Mark Foley congressional page scandal to regain Congress in the upcoming elections and to destroy Speaker Dennis Hastert.

But in 1983, there were two sister scandals that did not cause Dems so much concern. Gerry Studds (D-Mass) and Dan Crane (R-Ill) had been found to have had consentual sex with 17-year-old congressional pages. Though neither instance was technically illegal, they were egregious in regard to relations between authority figures and subordinates (now well known as sexual harassment) and of course sex with a minor.

Newt Gingrich urged the expulsion of both members, but the Democrat-controlled House voted instead to just censure them. Crane showed remorse but was defeated in his next re-election bid. Studds, however, was unapologetic and turned his back during the censure. He continued to be re-elected to office until his retirement in 1996. One might assume that voters in Massachusetts were less concerned than those in Illinois.

The Foley scandal is not fundamentally different from Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, except that she was not a minor, though she was a subordinate. Note that Foley did not actually have sexual relations with the page. In Clinton's case, Democrats managed to turn the scandal into a negative for Republicans by engaging public sentiment.
_________________________
Copyright 2006 Paul A. Hughes


Posted by hughes at 1:29 PM CDT
Saturday, October 7, 2006
The Devilish Symbol
Topic: Texana

The Devilish Symbol 

Jenna Bush flashed the "Hook 'em Horns" symbol and ignited a Norwegian tempest. During the televised Black Tie and Boots gala at the presidential inaugural festivities, while a band played "The Eyes of Texas," the Bush daughter held up the hand sign for her alma mater, the University of Texas.

Contrary to propaganda, by the way, "The Eyes of Texas" is NOT the Texas state song, but a UT ditty based on the tune, "I've Been Working on the Railroad." The state song is "Texas, Our Texas." 

"Sjokkhilsen fra Bush datter," read the headline on Nettavisen, a Norwegian news website. In Norway, the horn sign is associated with Satanism, or more particularly, the Death Metal music movement, which in the 1980s was shocking, violent, anti-Christian, and sometimes deadly.

The same hand sign is also known to have been used by homosexuals to identify themselves. 

The "Hook 'em" sign is attributed to Harley Clark, now a retired district judge. Clark was a UT cheerleader in 1955 when originating the sign to counter the "Gig 'em" sign used by the archrival Texas A&M Aggies.

Commenting on the hand signs, Clark betrays considerable animus. "Surely everybody in the world takes offense at the Aggie Gig 'Em sign. I can't think of anything more repulsive than that hand gesture." 

The "Gig 'Em" sign is probably based on the "thumbs up" sign prevalent in the military in World War II or earlier. A pilot, for instance, would give the signal from the cockpit to mean, "Go ahead" or "All systems go."

So why the acrimony? Texans would understand. Texas is divided between Aggies and Horns, like Democrat versus Republican or Liberal versus Conservative. They coexist in two different worldviews. Wherever one went to college, or not at all, everyone has an opinion, and everybody chooses sides. 

UT was the state university written into the Texas Constitution of 1876, but Texas A&M was the first to hold classes, that same year. UT has been the elite school, located in the state capitol, claiming to represent the state, and receiving the lion's share of state funding.

A&M was a land grant college established under the Morrill Act to provide a place for the children of farmers and the working class to go to school. A&M was a military school until after World War II, when it allowed veterans to return out of uniform. Its Corps of Cadets continues to be the heart and soul of the university, and to provide the largest number of military officers outside the official military academies. 

Female students were allowed in the 1960s. Because of phenomenal growth, A&M has been forced to keep raising entrance requirements, since it is required by law to admit all qualified students. Consequently, A&M has often been unjustly accused of limiting minority enrollment for racist reasons.

UT is a liberal school, located in the state's most liberal city. A&M is conservative, located in a small town that grew up around the campus. Austin was the hotbed of anti-Vietnam protest in Texas, there were no major protests at A&M. The same people who hate A&M tend to be the same left-wingers who, in Bill Clinton's words, "loathe the military." 

So the difference is ideological. Hmm, maybe the UT handsign is evil, after all.

[Source: Andrew Dansby, "Norway Reads Something Sinister in 'Hook 'Em' Sign," Houston Chronicle, January 22, 2005, pp. A1, A10; and the author, with an A&M degree and 30 years of personal experience.]

©2005 Paul A. Hughes


Posted by hughes at 6:47 PM CDT
Lottery Tempts the Poor Most
Topic: God Help Us!

The Texas Lottery, along with parimutuel betting, was pushed through by one-term Democrat governor Ann Richards on the promise that it would fund education in the state.  Not only has it failed to live up to that promise, but a recent study of the lottery by Texas Tech University shows that the lottery appeals most to those who have the least, amounting to a regressive tax on the poor.

The figures are as follows:

$44.55 the average risked by players per month in 2004
$38.13 the average risked 2 years ago

GENDER
$48.65 males
$41.66 females

RACE
$30.76 whites
$88.98 blacks
$64.83 Hispanics
$72.73 other

EDUCATION
$62.55 non-high school graduates
$67.19 high school graduates
$42.28 some college
$26.82 college graduates

According to Brian Cannon, in charge of the survey at Tech, "Rates of participation are down.  So we have fewer people reporting having played, but they're actually spending more money when they're playing."

Gerald Busald calls the scratch-off game, "the crack cocaine of the lottery."  A professor of mathematics at San Antonio College, Busald has concluded that "There is a greater percentage of people who have a gambling problem with the Texas Lottery than ever before."

"The less education you have," says Busald, "the more you are spending.  The people who are supporting the Texas Lottery are those with the least amount of education and the least amount of income."

But seriously, didn't we know this would be the case going in?  Huh?

[Source:  Jeffrey Gilbert, "Those with Least Chance It Most, Texas Lottery Player Study Shows," in Houston Chronicle, February 1, 2005, pp. B1, B5.]

©2005 Paul A. Hughes


Posted by hughes at 6:43 PM CDT
CO Court Denies Jury Right to Bible
Topic: Anti-Christian

Robert Harlan raped and murdered Rhonda Maloney, a waitress, in 1994.  In 2005, his death sentence was thrown out by the Colorado Supreme Court because jurors had used Bible passages to help determine their sentence.

The Court, in doing so, has:

1.  Denied the jury the right to use primary documents relative to the historical development of law to inform their decision.

2.  Violated jurors' First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion by denying the use of Scripture to inform their decision.

3.  Denied the jury's right to make a free decision in good conscience, without undue external interference.

Note:

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here" (Patrick Henry, 1765).

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions . . . upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God" (James Madison, 1778).

"In contemplating the political institutions of the U.S., if we were to remove the Bible from schools, I lament that we would be wasting so much time and money punishing crimes and would be taking so little pains to prevent them" (Benjamin Rush, Educational Policy Papers, 1791).

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws . . . .  All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible" (Noah Webster, "History of the United States," 1832).

"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.  It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian" (U.S. Supreme Court, 1892).

[Reference:  "Bible Use Voids Death Sentence," from unnamed wire reports, in Houston Chronicle, March 30, 2005, p. A4.]
__________________________________________
©2005 Paul A. Hughes

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Posted by hughes at 6:40 PM CDT

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