"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beautifuller and beautifuller

     Indulge my obsession with this tree. I was wrong again. It's still peaking! Our friend Tom, who lives with us, planted tomatoes and zucchini around its base earlier this summer and has watered them religiously. The crepe myrtle has never been so ecstatic!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our crepe myrtle is peaking!

New photos added.
     I guess when I posted the pictures of our crepe myrtle blooming back on July 30 it hadn't peaked after all--because look at it now!
Crepe myrtle in our back yard from neighbors' front yard.


Their bouganvillia is in foreground. (Our house is on the right.)



View from our bedroom balcony.


We have been  enjoying meals on the patio under this magnificence.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two neat opportunities

     1. HARVEST http://www.harvest.org/crusades/2011/anaheim/ Harvest just ended at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California but if you weren't there, you still haven't missed it! You can watch all three nights of wonderful music, stories and interviews with people like Bethany Hamilton, who still wins championships for her surfing despite losing one arm to a shark, plus powerful, personable messages by Greg Laurie. (There will be another Harvest at 6 PM on Sept. 10 at the Dodger Stadium in L.A. See http://www.harvest.org/crusades/2011/los-angeles/get-involved/upcoming-meetings.html  You need to get there 3-4 hours early, if you can.) 
     2. METAMORPHOSIS www.illustramedia.com has just produced a beautiful documentary, Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies, filming the transition of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly inside the chrysalis, evidence of intelligent design. You can read about it, see a trailer, order the DVD and/or--if you live in Southern California-- attend the premiere screening in Fullerton on Sept.17. 

See you on Sept. 10th at Dodger Stadium in LA and September 17th at Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton!

  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

END-TIME ISRAEL - 2

Messianic perspective, Temple Aviv Judea publication


Many of us can relate to periods of our life when we sit and contemplate where we are at in life. Sometimes we sit on the mountain peaks, while other times we are in the valleys. Through the mountains and the valleys, we can see the hand of G-d. We can see His tapestry masterfully woven together and can see how all the pieces have been perfectly connected. During the times in the valleys, we cannot see past the next hill, and we have to trust HaShem to get us through. When we are on the mountain peak, we can see the past and even get a glimpse of the future. It takes so much more faith when you are in those valleys.

As believers in Messiah Yeshua, we understand that reading the Tenach is like looking out over the valley, but not being able to grasp what is ahead. As believers, we sit on the mountaintop called the Brit Chadasha [Newer Covenant] and looking back we see the Tenach in a totally different perspective. We see that there is ONE Messiah who plays two roles: the suffering servant [Isaiah 53] and the Conquering King [Zechariah 14]. . . (Continued)





From my blog BONUS FEATURES

Friday, August 12, 2011

END-TIME ISRAEL - 1

Miracles Happening in Israel

     Isn't it amazing that Israel is more in the news than ever--just as the Bible predicted it would be in the end times? What human Nostradamus could have foreseen that Israel would become the flashpoint of history thousands of years after the Jews were dispersed throughout the world? Jews are hated more than ever and targeted for annihilation by radical Muslims. The Bible says in the last days every nation will turn against Israel. Even though America is not mentioned in prophecy, this must mean America will also turn against Israel.
     Yet God is abundantly blessing Israel. . . (Continued)


From my blog BONUS FEATURES

Thursday, August 11, 2011

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION - 5 (of 5)

Joy in Persecution


"I hope nobody calls me a hero, because I know the facts about the bitterness that blazed in my heart that year. I knew, for example, that I was supposed to forgive my captors but the truth is that I often hated them not only for snatching me away from my family and the simple comforts of a life I loved, but also for forcing me to see a side of myself I didn't like. There was a Gracia I barely knew existed: fearful Gracia, selfish Gracia, bitter Gracia, angry-at-God Gracia. Every once in a while, Martin and I talked about the fruit of the Holy Spirit as listed in Galatians 5 and how much we wanted to see love, joy and peace in our lives. 'All I see is sadness and grief and sorrow,' I'd say. 'How can we produce the opposite?' . . . (Continued)


From my blog  BONUS FEATURES

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New book on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Atomic Cover-Up

    DemocracyNow.org interviews Greg Mitchell, author of "Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima and Nagasaki and The Greatest Movie Never Made" at Atomic Cover-Up: The Hidden Story Behind the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mitchell also co-authored (with Robert Jay Lifton) "Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial."   

TODAY'S POST BELOW.

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION - 4 (of 5)

God's Provision in Persecution


Dear brothers and sisters,

In persecution, we have the opportunity to depend on God alone and in response, He provides for us. God provides His presence and leading. He promises to go through persecution with us and give us peace. He promises to fill our mouths with His words when we are put on trial: "When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit," Mark 13:11.

This provision may not look like what we expect. . . (Continued) 



From my blog  BONUS FEATURES

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Take two

     Every morning, religiously, Jerry and I check out two websites: NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day and WorldMag.com's Editorial cartoons.

For balance, we recommend them both.

TODAY'S (BELATED) POST BELOW.

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION - 3 (of 5)

Preparing for Persecution (Practically)


For those of you for whom persecution loomed in our future as a sure thing when we heard the outcome of the election, has that sense of clarity and urgency faded? Do you now feel those presentiments were irrational, exaggerated, even nonsense? Please think through the following decisions anyway and keep this in case the need for it ever seem imminent. . . (Continued)


From my blog,  BONUS FEATURES

Monday, August 8, 2011

30,000+ at Day of Prayer

"We need another Dunkirk" - Day of Prayer report

     Besides 30,000 who attended the Houston event in person, people of God across the nation participated in Saturday's Day of Prayer via 1,300 satellite viewing stations in all 50 states. Jerry and I only heard about it at the last minute, so participated on our own. If you didn't, I hope you will have your own day of prayer, after the fact. It's not too late. When you see all God's answers, you will want to be able to say, "I had a small part in that!"

TODAY'S POST BELOW.

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION - 2 (of 5)

Preparing for Persecution-Spiritually


"Bittersweet days. How exciting/frightening to be living in the midst of so many fulfilled prophecies!" RW, wife, mom, grandma, Bible teacher and artist, Southern California

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Surrounded by wildfires (2008), this seems a good time to discuss preparing for persecution. We need to plan ahead for the probability of persecution just as we plan ahead for the probability of natural disasters. . .
(Continued)

From my blog,  BONUS FEATURES

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Eyes left

My mother's testimony, The Phoenix and the Dove, is now posted in full to your left. Click on the book cover.

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION - 1(of 5)

Post-election balance and the future



Dear sisters and brothers,

Republicans, conservatives, Christian journalists and talk show hosts are weighing in on why Barack Obama won the (2008) election when we prayed so ardently that he wouldn't. One well-known pastor who prophesied that Sarah Palin would be the 44th Vice President, rather than admitting, "I was wrong and therefore I fail the Biblical test for a prophet," implied there hadn't been enough prayer, enabling the devil to thwart God's will. Another said, "We did 'give it our all'. . . Tragically, it ended in defeat."

Beloved ones, nobody thwarts God's will and He is never defeated (Job 42:2). . . (Continued)


From my blog  BONUS FEATURES

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Invitation to make today a day of prayer and fasting

TODAY'S ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED POST IS BELOW THIS ONE.
From Texas Governor Rick Perry, Longview, Texas:

     In 1977, I had left the Air Force and moved home.  I’ll be real honest with you—I was a bit lost spiritually, and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So I moved in with my mother and father.  Now thatʼs a real trip!  I had been an aircraft commander, traveling all around the world, seeing amazing places that a boy from Paint Creek, Texas, had never even dreamed were out there before. I had this great epiphany during my mid twenties. As I had lived in Europe and South America and the Middle East, I saw all these different countries with different forms of government.  I was actually paying attention to the dictatorships, theocracies, monarchies, democratic states, etc.  I started making the connection between how those people lived and the form of government they had. It was most interesting for me, as Iʼd never really given that much attention to our form of government in America.  Iʼd taken for granted this extraordinary country we live in, but I came to realize that America is really a special place.  I also made the calculation that inside that really cool place was this incredible place called Texas !
     At twenty-five, twenty-six years old, it dawned on me what an incredible country we live in, and that the vast majority of the people take it for granted. They abuse the privilege of living in a free country. They don't realize how so many other people live around the world. But with that knowledge, I went home and lived with my mom and dad. I moved back into my old room. At eighteen years old, I left to go to my beloved Texas A&M University.  Nine years later, I came back into my old room. I swear to God, I know mother cleaned it, but it looked exactly like it did the day I left.  It had my football number on the door, and it had the all-star football game program still stuck on the bulletin board. It was an eerie moment for me to move back home.      
     My dad was pretty sure I was the same stupid eighteen-year-old that had left. I was pretty sure he hadnʼt gotten any smarter either. So we went through this really brutal period of time of finding our comfort zone. But God was dealing with me. At twenty-seven years old, I knew that Iʼd been called to the ministry. Iʼve just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was gonna have! I still am. I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do His will.
    
On Aug the 6th of this year, 2011, we are going to have a day of prayer and fasting. And itʼs going to be the real deal. Itʼs not going to be some program where we line up a dozen political figures to come in and talk. Itʼs going to be people standing on that stage, projecting and proclaiming Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas . Let me tell you, thatʼs a big stadium and there will be a lot of people. But itʼs going to send a powerful message across this country!  Our countryʼs broke. Well, actually, Washingtonʼs broke; our countryʼs going to be just fine. But weʼve got to have men and women who are willing to stand up to proclaim the values that this country was based upon.
     In 1774, at the Continental Congress when they got together and penned that first document, they talked about “life” and “liberty.”  Interestingly, the third thing they talked about was “property.” A couple of years later, when they actually wrote the Declaration, they changed that “property” to “the pursuit of happiness.” I just signed a piece of legislation today, the eminent domain legislation.  I tell people that “personal property” and the ownership of that personal property is crucial to our way of life.  Our founding fathers understood that it was a very important part of the pursuit of happiness. Being able to own things that are your own is one of the things that makes America unique. But I happen to think that itʼs in jeopardy.
     Itʼs in jeopardy because of taxes; itʼs in jeopardy because of regulation; itʼs in jeopardy because of a legal system thatʼs run amuck. And I think itʼs time for us to just hand it over to God and say, “God, Youʼre going to have to fix this.” (I think it was Herman Cain who stood up the other day and said, “Howʼs that 'Hope and Change' thing working out for you?”) I think itʼs time for us to use our wisdom and our influence and really put it in Godʼs hands. Thatʼs what Iʼm going to do, and I hope youʼll join me. I hope you’ll join us in Houston on the 6th day of August and really start a revival across this country.
     Hereʼs what I want to leave you with. I know from time to time, people will say something like, “There goes Perry. He wants to secede.” But I love this country. Weʼre a special place. We were created by God-fearing individuals who understood those biblical values and how powerful they could be and would be in the future. And I suggest that for our country, our best days are ahead if weʼll get on our knees and ask God to take over and give us wisdom. I may wear the Lord out every day in prayer. I pray for this country. I pray for restoration for this country. I pray for our president every day. I pray that God turns buckets of wisdom out on his head, that God will open his eyes. We can change this country, but it requires our giving it to Him and letting Him guide us.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes."

GUEST COLUMN for Hiroshima Day: Coming of Age with Hiroshima's Mourning

NEW ANTI-NUKE FILM: Knocking at the Devil's Door: Our Deadly Nuclear Legacy: screenings August 5-11 in New York (4:20 PM and 8:00 PM, The IFC theater, Ave. of the Americas / Waverly Place) and Los Angeles (3:00 PM and 7:30 PM, Laemmle Sunset 5 Theater, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood) 

Friday, Aug. 6, 2010
Coming of age with Hiroshima's mourning
By JANE BRAXTON LITTLE
Special to The Japan Times
GREENVILLE, Calif. — I arrived in Hiroshima looking for a party on Aug. 6. I was 23 and starved for American jokes, American English, American company. For the past year I had been living with a Japanese family and teaching English in Wakayama, where the only other American women I knew of were an older teacher and a pair of middle-aged nuns.
     Hiroshima seemed to be the elixir for my loneliness, a relief from the awkward mannerisms I had assumed in an effort to fit in with my Japanese hosts. I knew the city would be crawling with foreigners coming to observe the anniversary of the event that had made Hiroshima an international household word.
     I, too, wanted to pay my respects to the city we had blown to smithereens. I was too young to remember the bomb but had grown up with Quaker pacifists who could not forget it. Most of my parents' friends were conscientious objectors who chose prison and government work camps over fighting "the good war."
     As a high school student I had made my own small antiwar statement by refusing to evacuate my suburban Philadelphia classroom during air raid drills. At Wakayama University I flaunted my pacifism by singing a Peter Seeger antinuclear tune in Japanese.
     In Hiroshima I set out on my own, amazed by the glass and steel high-rises that grace the broad avenues of the rebuilt downtown. Unlike traditional Japanese streets raucous with boys on bicycles delivering udon noodles in porcelain bowls, Hiroshima was cosmopolitan. And it was filled with foreigners.
     I gravitated toward the English speakers, enjoying the escape from being the American professor and the anonymity of being one of many young blondes.
     Bu the time the memorial celebration got under way, I was freelancing my fluent Japanese to American and British TV crews covering the day as if it were an athletic event.
     I might not have noticed the woman with the cropped hair and ill-fitting gray silk dress if a cameraman hadn't zoomed in on her.
     She was stooped, seated in a cobblestone courtyard on folded legs before a black-and-white family photograph flanked by vases of golden chrysanthemums. In my eyes she looked old but she could have been middle-aged, a young mother on Aug. 6, 1945.
     Maybe the other foreigners and their cameras emboldened me. Forsaking the respectful distance I generally accorded my Japanese hosts, I moved within 35 mm range and clicked off a shot. She noticed me, hissing her disgust. Embarrassed, I apologized.
     Apparently stunned that I had understood her, she stared hard at me as if trying to reclaim her privacy. I expected her to slip into the vaporous deference I had become accustomed to for uttering even the clumsiest of phrases in Japanese. Instead, she took me on.
       In the shadow of the bombed-out hulk of the six-story Atomic Dome — one block from the Peace Museum entombing the outlines of children's bodies radiated into the sidewalks where they happened to be captured at 8:15 a.m. on their way to school — there in the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, I became this woman's token American aggressor.
      It was my government, my president who unleashed the horror of the atom bomb on Japan. It was my country, my people who turned her home into an inferno roiling with flames that seared the living and the unborn alike. We — I — had murdered her daughter, her only son, her aged father and over 100,000 members of her national family. Her voice swelled from tight-lipped anger into furious rage before it struck a high-pitched frenzy, keening from word to word like an atomic wind leveling everything in its path.
      A small crowd gathered. Other mourners joined in. Soon the words of the woman on folded knees were part of a chorus lamenting untold losses, grieving their fear of helplessly handing down contamination to their children and their grandchildren's children.
      I listened. This was a voice I had not heard from the generous families who had invited me into their homes. I had not heard it from my students, a cocky new generation bent on shucking the humilities of their elders and the oppression of a war that ended before they were born.
     The Hiroshima mourners vented a national anguish and a pointed blame I could not have imagined behind the traditional Japanese stoic silence.
     Finally spent of words, the woman in gray bowed deeply to her photograph and flowers, gathered them up and walked off with a curt nod in my direction. The crowd drifted into the sea of people milling around the Peace Park. The TV crews had long since left in search of action. I stayed seated until the bent legs beneath me revolted.
     August 6, 1945, forever changed the world. Hiroshima is witness to our capacity and our willingness to destroy. I left the city humbled, my pretentious pacifism eclipsed by survivors destined to see that blinding flash replayed over and over again in horrific silence, a ghastly tape without a soundtrack.

After teaching at Wakayama University, Jane Braxton Little earned a Harvard M.A. in Japanese cultural history. A freelance writer and photographer in northern California, Little has returned to Japan several times as a journalist. Many of her articles are posted on her website: www.janebraxtonlittle.com 

In related news:
Investigation-rewrites-nuclear-history, industry says

Friday, August 5, 2011

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION - Prequel 2

50 Evidences We are Living in the End Times
by Dr. David R. Reagan, Founder and Director, Lamb and Lion Ministries


Jesus said we would not know the day of His coming but we would recognize the "season" by the signs leading up to it. Like a jigsaw puzzle, it takes a long time to find where the first pieces go but as the puzzle gets closer and closer to completion, the pieces start to fit in faster. That's what we sense happening. The Lord's return is near!

Here is a transcript of a DVD listing 50 of those signs which have already been fulfilled. . . (Continued) 





From my blog  BONUS FEATURES

Thursday, August 4, 2011

PREPARING FOR PERSECUTION: Prequel 1



Living in the End Times
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A few weeks ago, a friend had me listen to a CD by Dr. David R. Reagan of Lamb and Lion Ministries
, speaking on "50 Reasons Why We Are Living in the End Times." Ever since I attended Multnomah Bible College over 40 years ago, I have heard many people talk about our being in the  last days but the evidence then never convinced me. This did. . . (Continued)



From my blog BONUS FEATURES