NEW WAR GEAR HELPS RUSSIAN BEAR SHARPEN ITS CLAWS

KEEP IN MIND, THOSE WHO COMPLAIN THAT WE SPEND TOO MUCH ON OUR MILITARY THAT RUSSIA IS QUITE FOND OF ISLAMISTS AND SYRIA.  (Your enemy is my friend?)  Keep this in mind as you read this:

One Aspect of Russian life untouched by the ruble’s collapse and a looming recession-plans for a rapid military expansion the like of which Russia has not seen in decades.

Russian strong man Valdimir Putin recently stated that the Russian army “is changing, getting a new image and becoming a modern force capable of fulfilling the most challenging tasks.”  Already Russia spends a greater share of its gross domestic product on military outlays than either the United States or China.  Business Insider reports its military budget is expected to jump more than 30 percent next year alone.  According to Jane’s Information Group, the Kremlin’s military expenditures have increased over 92 percent since 2010.  Among the new Russian weapons deliveries planned for this year:

50 new ICBMs, Mobile, high-precision Iskander tactical missile, which could be used to attack U.S. anti-missile systems in Europe.  New Borel class nuclear-missile submarines and Yasen class hunter-killer submarines, according to the St. Petersburg Times., Over 150 new aircraft and helicopters, including MIG-29s., New prototypes of the T-50 PAK aircraft, a fifth generation fighter being huped as the Russian equivalent of the American F-22 Raptor, A MASSIVE BUILD UP OF RUSSIA’S BLACK SEA FLEET, Including new missile frigates, diesel submarines, and corvettes.

Overall, the St. Petersburg Times predicts that 2015 will be “a year of breakneck growth in Russia’s military capacity.

THIS WAS WITH AN ARTICLE CALLED :  RUSSIA’S NEIGHBORS FEAR ATTACK BY WOUNDED PUTIN, as plunging oil prices depress its economy, is radical Soviet era ideology making a comeback?  the article points out that Russian people are completely behind their military, no complaints on spending to defend country.

DIVINE MERCY FOR AMERICA-PRAY TOGETHER FOR THE SAME GOAL

DAVE AND JOAN MARONEY OF MOTHER OF MERCY MESSENGERS (MOMM) ARE HARD AT WORK ON THEIR DIVINE MERCY FOR AMERICA (DMFA)CAMPAIGN, an outreach to get as many people as possible praying for our country.

“WE are booked this spring in eastern Florida, South Dakota, and Oakland, California.” said Joan of their travel plans.

And they continue to expand the reach of the campaign.  On March 20, Marian Helpers are invited to St. Bernadette Parish in Surrey, British Columbia, as Joan and Dave debut Divine Mercy for Canada.  For more information, visit  http://www.thedivinemercy.org/momm/canada.

DMFA-DIVINE MERCY FOR AMERICA is also in the middle of a membership drive in the United States.  “The goal is to have teammates in every state and every diocese.” Joan said.  VISIT  http://www.divinemercyforamerica.org FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SIGN UP.

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I URGE everyone to call and join and pray.  Just think, if every Christian Organization and every Christian in this Country joined to pray, we could set up times when we all said a quick prayer at the same time.  CAN YOU IMAGINE THE POWER OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA if thousands said a prayer at the same time?  Can you imagine we could actually save our Country and bring it’s people back to our Lord Jesus Christ?

Sign up and join me.

LENT-FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, FEB. 22

NOAH ENDURED THE FORTY-DAY devastation of the flood.  In a similar way, the spirit today drives Jesus into the forty-day trial of the desert. Satan conspires to make Jesus compromise his relationship as Son toward his Father.  But Jesus remembers how the flood ends with God’s promise, “I will establish my covenant with you.” The Father now perfects that promise in the flesh of his own Son who will “show sinners the way” so that “he might lead you to God.”  The temptations make Jesus only more certain of his Sonship.  Through our trials the Father’s care shines.  (Magnificat)

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the Gospel according to Mark 1:12-15   THE SPIRIT DROVE Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.  He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

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THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT

If you were asked to compose a sign to be nailed over the head of the crucified Christ for all the world to read.    WHAT WOULD YOUR SIGN SAY?

JESUS, I WILL PONDER NOW ON YOUR HOLY PASSION;

WITH YOUR SPIRIT ME ENDOW FOR SUCH MEDITATION.

GRANT THAT I IN LOVE AND FAITH MAY THE IMAGE CHERISH

OF YOUR SUFFRING, PAIN, AND DEATH THAT I MAY NOT PERISH.

(Daily Lenten Meditations by Arden W. Mead)

LENT BEGINS WED. 2=-18-2015-WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF LENT?

LENT IS THE 40-DAY PENITENTIAL PERIOD TO PREPARE OUR HEARTS TO CELEBRATE THE SOLEMNITY OF EASTER SUNDAY AND THE ENTIRE 50-DAY SEASON OF EASTER. (Easter season ends on Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the upper room).  It is modeled after the 40 days that Jesus spent in the de preparing for His public ministry.  The Spanish word for Lent, CUARESMA, means 40th.  Our English word “Lent” originally meant spring.  the root for this word means “long.”  because the days lengthen during the spring.  As we emerge from the darkness of winter and nature begins to blossom, our thoughts turn toward new life.

Catholics and some other Protestant Religions are called to prepare our hearts for Easter by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. On ASH WEDNESDAY-THIS YEAR FEB. 18,-, THE BEGINNING OF LENT, we are admonished to turn away from sin and to be faithful to the Gospet. ASH WEDNESDAY and GOOD FRIDAY ARE DAYS OF FASTING AND ABSTINENCE. Those over the age of 14 must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.  Since Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are also fast days, those from the ages of 18-59 are required to eat less: one meal and two smaller meals that, taken together, are not more than one main meal. No food between meals. These are the things that the Church requires of us during Lent.

THE CHURCH ALSO RECOMMENDS: confessing our sins, praying more (for example, attending daily Mass, praying the Stations of the Cross on Fridays), as well as making sacrifices or giving something up during Lent.  In fact, giving the money saved through such sacrifices to the poor is a beautiful way to practice almsgiving, which purifies our hearts and makes atonement for our sins.

To sum up, what Christ desires most of us during LENT IS A CONTRITE AND HUMBLE HEART, OPEN TO HIS MERCY.” (Father Joe Roesch, MIC)

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Now, no mater what religion you belong to or if you belong to no religion, you can still prepare yourself for the most important and wonderful season of the year:THE EASTER SEASON. Here are some suggestions:  One suggestion, is to give up something you spend money on, a cup of coffee, candy bar, soda, beer, movies, etc. and the money saved, put in a container and at the end of Lent, give it to your favorite Charity.  This way you are making a sacrifice and offer that sacrifice up to our Lord, and giving to the poor. If you can’t get to extra Mass or the Way of the Cross,  try spending 1/2 hour extra saying the Rosary, or reading the Life of Christ, in the Gospels.  The idea is to spend extra time with our Lord Jesus Christ to thank him for giving His Life for Us on the Cross and for preparing for the Celebration of Easter and the Easter Season.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL, HAVE A MEANINGFUL LENT.

W

ARE YOU RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL OR WHAT? CONT’D

I ENDED THE LAST BLOG ON SPIRITUALITY WITH THIS STATEMENT FROM THE ARTICLE BY DR. RAY GUARENDI:  “To paraphrase C.S.Lewis: A position seldom seems so unclear to me than after I’ve just successfully defended it.  He goes on to say:

“Many define these two words quite narrowly. For example, “religious” may mean following the rules. Not only that but following rules made by people one considers hypocritical or judgmental.  “Religious” also may imply rote, unthinking actions with little heart behind them.

“Spiritual” is to many the loftier word.  It speaks of a connection, however loose, to another power, perhaps a higher one. What’s better, the power commands little obedience to traditional morals or worship. “Spiritual” is among the mushiest words in the lexicon.  It can mean whatever one wishes it to mean.  Someone who is “spiritual” defines his own terms; therefore, he follows them to the letter.”

Ray continues: “Suppose I announce to my wife. “Honey, from this point forward, I want to be more marriage-minded and less married. I think the expectations and structure of marriage are impediments to our true connection. Let’s not stifle our relationship with rules.” By saying this, I effectively declare myself free from the active love, responsibilities, and yes, sacrifice crucial to a good marriage.  Somehow, though, I don’t think my wife would be enamored with my new philosophy.  Essentially I would be saying, “As long as I think lovingly about you, I don’t have top do all the nitty-gritty of actual loving.” Come to think of it, more people do now seem to want the marriage-mind set without the marriage.

“I’m spiritual, not religious” is what logicians would call an “either/or” proposition.  In the mind of the self-describer, one is either religious or spiritual, but not both. The traits are so dissimilar that they don’t overlap.  TO A BELIEVER IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE AND HIS PLAN OF SALVATION, religious and spiritual represent a both/and proposition. They exist together, part of the same reality.  RELIGION PUTS THE SUBSTANCE TO THE SPIRITUAL. It defines worship and morality.  THE WORDS OVERLAP SO much they are nearly interchangeable.

Maybe the next time you hear someone say, “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual,” you can ask, “Can someone be both religious and spiritual?”

Of course you can also go back and ask the questions I listed before:  “What do you mean by religious?”  “”What is your image of someone who is religious?”  “What makes a person “spiritual?” “Are their different kinds of spiritual?” “How does spiritual show itself?”

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AND I ASK AGAIN;  Christ came on this earth to build HIS CHURCH.  How can HE HAVE A CHURCH if there are no people?  Do Spiritual people go to church?  He said “if two or more are gathered together…..”  How do Spiritual people who do not go to church claim to be Christians, if they are not part of HIS CHURCH?  HOW DOES THE CHRISTIAN FAITH SPREAD if Christians do not gather together to pray to the Father as Jesus said and did? If the Christian Faith does not spread further than it is now, what happens to the Church that Jesus died to began?  Does being Spiritual get you to Heaven to be with Jesus and his Father?  Or do you need to be part of HIS CHURCH????Just questions begging for answers……

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My next blog will be about preparing for Lent.

MOVIES COMING OUT VALENTINES DAY

OLD FASHIONED    … AND SHADES OF GRAY:  One respects women and marriage and one that degrades women and encourages the abuse of women and the abuse of sex. . Guess which one is which?

OLD FASHIONED is a tender movie about true love and respecting the dignity of women …This movie is coming out purposely to offset the other movie.  I believe this is a good Christian Movie and I hope the movie theaters will be full.

GRAY, I don’t understand why liberal women are not up in arms about this movie and how it treats women. There is no way that any Christian should go to see this. It degrades sex and women and considering how hard we are fighting against the abuse of women, why are women not protesting this movie?

CAN SOMEONE BE BOTH RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL?????

“I’m spiritual, not religious.”  We hear this statement many times these days, but what is the proper response?  BY DR. RAY GUARENDI

Some declarations multiply because they soothe the human psyche on many levels.  One, they sound smart………… Two, they sound superior.  What is being professed is a more genuine, enlightened way to be, a way the speaker follows.  Three, they sound self-evident.  Beyond dispute, they need no deeper analysis as to how much sense they really make.

AT THEIR CORE, HOWEVER, THEY ARE PLATITUDES: FULL OF SUPERFICIAL APPEAL BUT LITTLE SUBSTANCE.  They are verbal viruses, which spread rapidly through the cultural body because they suit the self………………………………….

The proclamation “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual” contains two words just begging for clarification.  When someone says this to you, like a good therapist you can ask some questions.      “What do you mean by religious?”,  “If you were religious, what would you be like?”, “What is your image of someone who is religious?”,  You can also seek the person’s meaning of spiritual.  “What makes a person “spiritual?”, “Are there different kinds of spiritual?”, How does spiritual show itself?”

Don’t argue or jump on contradictions.  The intent is to hear and understand just how the person is using those words.  In explaining herself to you, she may also be explaining herself to herself.  Sometimes it’s only by saying things out loud that we hear whether we’re being logical.  To paraphrase C.S.Lewis: A position seldom seems so unclear to me than after I’ve just successfully defended it………………………..

Continued in next Blog…………………QUESTION?  CHRIST CAME ON THIS EARTH TO BUILD HIS CHURCH.  CAN HIS CHURCH SURVIVE WITHOUT PEOPLE?

MINISTRY TO COUPLES WHO CHOSE ABORTION AFTER ADVERSE DIAGNOSIS

My last blog, was about couples who have an adverse diagnosis about their unborn child and the support available for couples who decide to carry their child to term. It came from an article in the December CATHOLIC DIGEST. This Article was also in the DIGEST.

THERE IS ALSO SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO CHOSE ABORTION.  Theresa Bonapartis never planned on counseling couples shattered by abortion. She had enough on her plate–she was raising two young boys alone, pursuing her degree in drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and simply trying to keep it all together.  But this is where God led her more than 20 years ago, after a long, painful journey caused by her own abortion.  “It has been astruggle for me, but through much prayer, counseling and a devotion to the divine mercy of God.  I have found peace.  Healing has been, more than anything, a spiritual battle with Satan. He tried to exert his power over me and fling his lies at me at every turn, but with a trained counselor, good spiritual direction and endless prayer, healing came.”

Theresa posted this as part of her testimony on LUMINA’S WEBSITE, a post aabortion ministry of COOD COUNSEL HOMES AND HOPE FOR BABIES AND MOTHER.  FATHER benedict Groeschel, CFR and Christopher Bell founded the charitable organization, which offers retreats, training, and prayer services for men and women who are post-abortive.  Theresa is the director of LUMINA and the co-creator with the Sisters of Life of Entering Canaan, a post-abortive retreat ministry used in dioceses across the country.

“WE MINISTER TO ALL POST-ABORTIVE PEOPLE. Over  the years I began reaching people who had abortions after a poor prenatal diagnosis.”  These calls became so common that Theresa knew there was a need to reach out to such couples. Through LUMINA, Theresa runs separate retreats designed specifically for those who have aborted after an adverse prenatal diagnosis.

“Obviously they were planning to have the children.  Most of them were rushed into a decision by medical professionals.  Their dreams are shattered.  They’re shocked from the diagnosis, and they give in to abortion.” Theresa explains.  According to the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, up to 90 percent of couples abort children after receiving a prenatal diagnosis of a disability.

“Nobody is saying it’s easy.  It’s horrible.  But abortion only makes it worse. It doesn’t change the situation; it just adds another layer of trauma,” she adds.  “Sooner or later it catches up with everyone.  I have had women in theri 90’s call for help.  PRAISE GOD. HE is merciful and forgiving and patient.  There is always hope.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: ON OBTAINING SUPPORT CONTACT LUMINA, Hope and Healing after Abortion, A post-abortion ministry & referral network.  http://www.postabortionhelp.org/pah.

They will help provide support and refer you to someone in your area.

LOVE, LOSS, AND COURAGE-THE DECISION TO CARRY A BABY TO TERM

ARTICLE  from the December CATHOLIC DIGEST by Carolee McGrath.  I just read this article and wanted to post the help available for parents who are told by their doctors that there is something wrong with their child and they should abort.

This article is about several couples who upon being told their child would not live, or were told by their doctor that “a diagnosis like this is incompatible with life. Then there was a long pause and he said, ‘So the next steps would be to schedule a time for you to come in for the procedure.’ Their doctor got very short with them and could not believe they would want to carry their baby to term.”

For all these couples, it was pretty much the same thing, everyone assumed they would abort since their baby wasn’t perfect, and would be ill or die shortly after birth.  They all said the same thing, THEY NEEDED SUPPORT TO HELP THEM THROUGH. For Steve and Annmarie while some people questioned and even criticized their decision to have their baby, Angelica, they said “God guided them to Isaiah’s Promise, an organization that supports parents who choose life after receiving a similar diagnosis.  The founder of Isaiah’s Promise, who had experienced the same grief, responded with immediate help for the couple.”

“SUPPORTING PARENTS CARRYING TO TERM IS A PRIVILEGE. BEING A PART OF ANY BABY’S STORY IS A GIFT, AND WHEN A PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS GIVES THE INDICATION THAT A LIFE MAY BE ESPECIALLY FRAIL OR BRIEF, EVERY MOMENT BECOMES MORE PRECIOUS.,” Tracy of BE NOT AFRAID said.

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Come to find out there are several organization ready to support parents who make the correct but tough decision to carry their baby to term. Here is a list:

ISAIAH’S PROMISE, STARTED IN 1996. IN THE WASHINGTON, DC AREA.

BE NOT AFRAID,A CATHOLIC NON-PROFIT LAUCHED BY THREE MOTHERS IN 2009 IN THE DIOCESE OF CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

MY CHILD MY GIFT IN THE DIOCESE OF PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. STARTED BY MADELINE NUGENT.

Also: books written by women with the same experiences:

MY CHILD, MY GIFT: A POSITIVE RESPONSE TO SERIOUS PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS. by Madeline Nugent of  Rhode Island

FOR THE LOVE OF ANGELA, written by Nancy Mayer-Whittington who began Isaiah’s Promise.

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I hope that this information will help women and couples who have to make these kinds of decisions and give them the support they need. If you want to help or start a group in your area, You could contact one of these groups.  The article mentions that there are several other groups and Tracy Winsor of Be Not Afraid, in Charlotte, North Carolina, also refers couples to other groups.

OPERATION NAME: INHERENT RESOLVE

Article from VFW magazine by Janie Blankenship and Tim Dyhouse. called: FANATIC TERRORISTS.

THIS IS THE NAME GIVEN BY THE PENTAGON TO OUR TROUPS GOING TO IRAQ AND WHEREEVER THIS TIME TO FIGHT ISIS AND OTHER TERRORISTS GROUPS. IT APPLIES TO:  Iraq AND Syria, AND ALSO Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabie, United Arab Emirates and Offshore-Persian gulf, Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean Sea. Effective June 15, 2014 troops in these areas will be eligible for the Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. This covers the current campaign of military actions against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Senate Intelligence Committee puts ISIS strength at between 30,000 and 50,000 men. ISIS calls for the killing of “unbelievers” to purify the community of the faithful.” According to Prof. Bernard Haykel, a scholar at Princeton…”For al Qaeda, violence is a means to an end; for ISIS, it is an end in itself.”ISIS followers believe that anyone–even an Islamist-who supports an elected or secular government is an unbeliever and subject to beheading.

“This is ‘you join us, or you are against us, and we finish you,'” Prof. Emad Shahin, who teaches Islam and politics at Georgetown Univ. told the NEW YORK TIMES. “It is not al Qaeda, but far to its right.”

————————————Who is in the ISIS Fight?  The Air Force has been the main player during the air campaign against ISIS. Perhaps the most significant development from an equipment standpoint is deployment of the F-22 Raptor. The F-22 a radar-evading $412 million fighter, was left out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In this campaign, which began Sept. 23, it participated in the second wave of bombing attacks over northern Syria. Other Air Force planes include the B-1B bomber, F-15E Strike Eagle, F16 Falcon and AC-130 gunships.

The Navy also provides firepower.  It committed three ships to the fight early on…………………Army aviators also have a hand in the campaign.  In July the Pentagon sent and unspecified number of AH-64 to Baghdad to protect the U.S. Embassy. Armed with cannons and Hellfire missiles, the gunshps are used for relatively close combat.”

The article goes on to mention drones and then talks about the ground troups…”On the ground there were 3,100 U.S. troops expected in Iraq in January. Some 755 GI’s already provided security assistance at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the airport and the U.S. consulate in Irbil.  Some 289 special ops troops were split into three groups: 112 at the Joint Operations Center, Baghdad, 87 at the JOC in IRBIL and 90 serving as advisors to the Iraq Security Forces.  Another 475 GI’s were ordered to Iraq on Sept 10……………….Finally, the newly created 2,300 member Marine crisis-response unit, based in Kuwait….”  They expect 10,000 of our troops to be there at year-end.

“The U.S. has used bases in five countries around the Middle East to launch its campaign against ISIS……………………”All of these efforts come with a high price tag to the U.S. military had spent $1.1 billion in its campaign against ISIS. According to the Pentagon, air operations were costing $8.3 million a day.  To break it down even further, it cost $55,000 an hour to fly the B-2 Stealth Bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.  Joint Direct Attack Munition smart bombs are $40,000 apiece-in just one attack 18 were used.  Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles cost $1.1 million apiece. Should the war against ISIS continue for just one year, the U.S. could be looking at a cost of at least $3.7 billion.  “If airstrikes in Syria and Iraq continue for as long as the President predicts, they will eventually cost tens of billions of dollars,” Loren Thompson, the military analyst for the Lexington Institute told USA TODAY. “The price of munitions is just one part of the bill.  Thousands of personnel are engaged in sustaining aircraft, flying drones and operating warships in the region.”

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There are differing opinions on how to go on from here. Some new lawmakers, vets from Iraq and Afghanistan on arming Syrian rebels but all agree that more force is needed to deal with ISIS. “We need to crush ISIS< not work on training more Islamic radicals.” Duncan Hunter, R-Calif told AP.

Bing West, War Correspondent,…said”A fiercer war lies ahead. The public will be supportive if–and only–if our political and military leadership explain the stakes and display the warrior-resolve to destroy the Islamist army.  When you go to war, kill the opponent, Crush the body and spirit until he is destroyed.”  “One of the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq is to fully commit to victory with sufficient focus, effort, material support and troop levels to assure victory or do not act at all.  Middling solutions have cost us much in blood and treasure over the last dozen years.  Against ISIS, America is, once again, taking a middling approach bound to be prolonged and indecisive.”  Chris Miller, Army Vet, 2 tours…Now you know where the military budget money goes.

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So there it is.  If we are going to do, we need to do it right for once, and actually win.  And if we do that the Military Budget is going to have to remain as it is or increase.

Ths article did not mention the coalition forces.