MARTYRS IN THE YEAR 2015

“ON JUNE 30 EACH YEAR, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, sometimes call the ‘protomartyrs.’ These are the men and women who were martyred under the Emperor Nero after the great fire in Rome in July of the year 63AD. The Roman historian Tacitus describes what happened.  A great multitude of Christians were arrested and then executed. ‘Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.’

Horrible as that must have been, the number of martyrs in first century Rome pale in comparison to the number of martyrs in first century Rome pale in comparison to the number that have attained, and continue to attain, martyrdom in our own time.  We only have to look back over the last several months for descriptions of martyrdoms as shocking as those described by the Roman historian.  Allow me just a few examples.

In February of this year, 21 Coptic Christians were brutally executed in Libya.  In March, suicide bombers attacked two Christian churches in eastern Pakistan killing 15 worshippers.  In April, some 30 Ethiopian Christians were murdered.  Also in April, 148 young students were killed in Kenya.  The Open Doors charity recorded 1,062 churches being attacked in 12 months.  This same organization can confirm that 4,344 people were executed for their Christian faith in 2014, more than double the number for 2013.  They report that the numbers are likely much higher, but they only use figures that can be verified.  The Holy Father made repeated reference to these atrocities during Holy Week this year and called for a response.  But what is the Christian response in the face of persecution?

The altogether human, common sense response is to hope for an opportunity for revenge, even if it is often called ‘justice’. But Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi, Kenya, offered an additional suggestion during his visit to Garissa University College, where the 148 students had been martyred.  After praying with families at the morgue, the cardinal said in an interview with The Associated Press that parents of the dead were going through a very trying time and that what the attackers did was horrible, but he held out hope that the militants would repent.  ‘Let us pray for your enemies, so that they can change.  As Christians, we are told to forgive those who sin against us.’  I wonder how many people would have proposed prayer for the killers as a response to this atrocity.

It is a radical response and certainly not ‘common’ sense.  But God’s ways are not our ways, and God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.  Could it be true that only love will change the hearts of enemies as, indeed, Jesus said?”  by Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Henchal. Harvest Magazine -July/August 2015

QUESTION:  DO YOU THINK IT CAN HAPPEN IN THIS COUNTRY?  Where are we in the U.S. in the 5 steps to Persecution?  When military pastors are being reprimanded and kicked out of the service for preaching the word of God to our military men and women, along with forced removal of crosses, etc.  What next, who will be the first priest or minister to be jailed? Check this out:    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/06/5-steps-of-persecution/ just copy and paste.

BATAAN DEATH MARCH SURVIVOR & V-J DAY

DAV life member Lester Tenney reflects on the forced POW march that left thousands of his fellow American service members dead during WWII. by M. Todd Hunter, DAV magazine July/Aug. 2015

After learning what Lester Tenney endured in April 1942 and for more than three years thereafter, one may not be inclined to consider him lucky.

Surrounded by malaria and dysentery, and with little to no food or water, Tenney was one of an estimated 80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war who endured the Bataan Death March, a forced 60-mile trek in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

During the brutal march, his captors, the Imperial Japanese Army, beat him and many others with sticks and rifles.  His teeth were knocked out. His head and nose were split open. His ribs were broken. So why would anyone consider him lucky?

Of the roughly 12,000 American troops who set off on the march, Tenney was one of only about 1,700 who survived to the end of WWII. Today, fewer than a hundred survivors are estimated to still be alive.

“It was called a ‘death march’ not because of how many died,” Tenney explained while in Washington, D.C. to attend Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s address before Congress in May. “They called it a ‘death march’ because of the way they died. If you stopped on the road, you were killed. If you had a malaria attack, they killed you. If you had to stop to defecate, they killed you.  If you just couldn’t take another step, they killed you.”

He later added that his captors’ indifference to the lives of his fellow brother-in-arms was evident in the manner the Japanese executed them……………………….

“I would see a herd of caribou in the distance, and I would say to myself, “I must get to the herd of caribou,” he explained.  “Then when I got to the herd of caribou, I’d find another goal and another goal and another goal.  Every day was another goal.”

At 94, Tenney  claims he has lived his life setting small goas for himself every day since.  It’s a frame of mind that undoubtedly helped him endure his forced labor in Japanese coal mines after surviving the march–working 12 hours daily for more than three years.

A high-school dropout, Tenney returned home from the war, got married, raised a family, earned a Ph.D. and enjoyed a career as a finance and insurance professor at Arizona State University. After retiring in 1983, the DAV Life Member wrote “MY HITCH IN HELL” about his experiences as a POW.

Today, Tenney spends his time sending care packages to American service members in Iraq and Afghanistan and often travels around the country talking about his experiences–all without holding a grudge about the atrocities he experienced decades ago.

“BY BEING ABLE TO ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES, I THINK IT’S A LOT EASIER TO LIVE,” he remarked.

“As our nation pauses to reflect on the 70th anniversary of V-J Day (Sept.2), it’s important to recognize those who persevered until victory during WWII.” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Lester Tenney is one such individual and a perfect example of the exemplary service paid forth by those belonging to the Greatest Generation.”

“I do believe that every man that came back from Bataan is disabled in some manner, either mentally, emotionally or through physical attributes,” Tenney concluded. “And I think we’re all a member of the DAV in one way or the other.:

WATCH VIDEO ONLINE:  Watch an interview with Lester Tenney at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPbAd1TUGIA.

Also to get more info. on DAV go to: http://www.dav.org or http://www.fb.com/the.dav or @davhq.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT DOLLAR YOU EARNED????

The  Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research group, reports that nearly a third of a worker’s 8 hour day is now consumed by federal, state, and local taxes, a glaring example of the burden put on American workers through unbridles governmental spending.  In fact “Tax Freedom Day”-the day your earnings have satisfied your annual federal state, and local tax obligation, assuming all of your earnings were paid to the government from January 1-occurred on April 24 this year, one day later than last year and six days later than the year before. One hundred years ago, this milestone took less than three weeks to hit.

Here’s another way to look at the burden of taxation: the amount we spend on federal, state, and local taxes in 2015 is projected to be $4.8 trillion, almost 10% more than we spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.  And this has been the case for more than two decades, with the gap continuing on an upward trend.

—————-to those  concerned with the long term, is that despite the enormous amount of revenuer confiscated from us, the federal government continues to spend more than it collects.  This deficit–pegged at more than $400 billion for 2015–indicates that the government is continuing year-by-year to spend even more than it takes from us, primarily by adding programs, regulatory staff, oversight offices, and the like all of which must be funded by the taxpayer.

———————–In fact, according to studies by the Heritage Foundation, a child born in 2014 will inherit a $41,000 share of this bill-a share that will grow to $142,000 by the time that child reaches age 24. So while the rate at which governmental confiscation of our earnings continues to expand, is it any wonder that Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated by the disincentive to work hard?  After all, if increasing production and value only results in losing more and more to taxation, why bother?  Why not join the growing population ranks willing to live off of government largesse (which, in reality, is in large part simply a transfer of wealth from the working to the non-working)?

As the run-up to the 2016 elections unfolds, there’s no doubt that candidates and prospective candidates will unfurl a variety of approaches to solving the tax burden dilemma.  Naturally, many of these “fixes” will involve raising more and more revenue via taxes, further intensifying the confiscation of wealth from those who earn it.  So, that dollar you earned may shrink even more in the years ahead.(byGerry Hafer for AMAC, Summer 2015)

OK FOLKS;  I take this to mean a few things:  We need to be very careful whom we chose as candidates, not only listen to what they say but look at their past actions. Do we want to pay more taxes? Or do we want to cut spending?

Former Repr. Connie Mack of Florida called for cutting one cent a year from every dollar the government spends as a means of dealing with the sky-rocketing national deficit. It doesn’t sound like much at first glance, but the think-tank FreedomWorks believes the idea is powerful enough to achieve a balanced budget by 2019. -Also, no increases in the budget next year, period. Give that some thought. (AMAC,also)

Some people believe heading further into Socialism is a great idea.  However, that is where we are now in many aspects.  Socialism also requires the transfer of money from the workers to the non-workers and to the Govt.  That is where we seem to be now.

Is it any wonder some of the Congress and the President want to raise the minimum pay.  Wouldn’t that mean some would be in a higher tax bracket and will have to pay more taxes.  Out of that raise, just how much do you think the person is likely to keep??

It seems to me this election will be the turning point in which way this Country will go.  More taxes, bigger Government?  Less taxes, smaller Government?  I know which way I want it to go.  You decide for yourselves, and your children.

GOVERNMENT VS. PRIVATE SPENDING

WHO GETS THE BIGGEST BANG FOR THEIR BUCK?

COMPARE:

  1.  Andrew Carnegie founding the Carnegie Institute and providing funding for more than 2,000 public libraries, giving away $350 million vs. Congress recently spending $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need or will nt use?  (Heritage Foundation Study)
  2. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen creating The Allen Institute for Brain Science with a $500million bequest  (www.forbes.com)( vs. the federal government’s inability to contain fraud losses within the Medicare system (now estimated at $60 – $100 billion annually)
  3. 3. San Diego real estate billionaire Conrad Prebys donating $100 million for medical research  (www.forbes.com) vs. the federal government wasting roughly $750 billion on unnecessary or poorly delivered services and other needless costs. (www.nytimes.com/2012).

We could go on, but you get the picture.  Private philanthropy can have a more direct impact as a result of two principle issues:  THE ABSENCE OF BUREAUCRATIC OVERLOAD, AND THE PRESENCE OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE. (AMAC Advantage Magazine, Summer 2015)

QUESTION:  still think having a Big Government controlling everything (Socialism) is better than Private Enterprise)  Please think again and revaluate your position, if you do.

Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians_WHAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE DOING AND NOT…..

BROTHERS AND SISTERS: DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.  ALL BITTERNESS, FURY, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, ALONG WITH ALL MALICE. AND BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, compassionate, forgiving one another AS GOD HAS FORGIVEN YOU IN CHRIST.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.  THE WORD OF GOD.

______________________________________

I was thinking about this today,:

DO YOU KNOW… If a Christian Employer does not pay his/her employees a fair wage (as much as his business can manage to pay and still stay in business) he is stealing from that employee? that is a Mortal Sin.  On the other hand, should an employee not do his/her best work and give that employer a full days work for a full days pay, that employee is stealing from that Employer and that is a Mortal Sin, since stealing is against the Commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Keep in mind that a Christian Employer does have to make a profit if it is a “for profit business”. in order to stay in business, have money to run the business, pay the bills and pay the employees.  Making a profit should be a measure that tells the employer that the business is a success and a reward for all he/she has done to build that business.  If a Christian Employer only cares about profit; however, and disregards the common decency that Jesus would expect him/her to carry out when dealing with employees, and customers, such as honesty and respect, that is also Morally Wrong and a Mortal Sin because the employer is putting profit before people.  I believe there is a section in the book of Mathew that talks about this.

I may not have explained this correctly, but you get the idea.  If all the Christians in this Country ran their businesses as Jesus taught them to, we would have an entirely different Country, and this also goes for the employees who must treat their employers and the business with respect and honesty and hard work.

WE ACHE FOR MORE

OUR HEARTS ARE restless until they rest in God (St. Augustine).  Nothing else is sufficient.  That’s the reason we all long to we wooed, to be loved, to be wanted.  But nothing can satisfy this desire to be loved except for God, who is love.

Our souls are hardwired for His love.  There’s a hole in our hearts that He alone can fill. And what’s beautiful about that sentiment is that the same can be said for Him.  In fact, the feelings are more than mutual.

JESUS HAS A HOLE IN HIS heart that you alone can fill. You, individually.  No one else can fill it, and He’s not going to rest until He’s got you.

Faith Noah–Life Teen.com