THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: You may have noticed -- we
have changed the heading color again. In the liturgical calendar for the
Christian year, last Sunday was the first of the four Sundays in Advent,
and the appropriate color for the Advent season is Blue, traditionally
signifying royalty, and Jesus as King. During the Advent season we look
forward to celebrating Jesus' first advent, and at the same time we look
forward to His second advent, when he will be recogized as King. For
language scholars it can be noted that the Latin word for advent:
adventus, is the translation of the Greek word: parousia, meaning the
"coming" of someone, and is thus used frequently in the New Testament
with reference to His coming again, for and with His saints. In our
count-down of days, there are 24 days until Sunday, Dec. 25, when we
celebrate the birth of Jesus, His first advent. And remember also there
are 706 days until Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012 . . .706 days to pray
before we vote to continue the house-cleaning job in Washington that
we began on Nov. 2.
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This is not a lecture on theology, Bible study or church history, but it
is often good to pause and reflect on some of the basic elements of our
Christian faith. And to assist in observing, studying and remembering
those elements of our faith, through the centuries the church has used the
Christian Church Calendar to assist believers in focusing their worship
on all the aspects of salvation that God accomplished through the life,
death and ministry of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Church
Calendar can thus be used in the same way as we use a calendar to keep
track of our meetings, events, assignments, holidays and birthdays.

As a reminder, the Christian Church Calendar is structured around the
life and ministry of Jesus, beginning with the Advent season to mark His
birth, and takes us through his death, burial and resurrection at Easter . . .
then the observance of Pentecost with the giving of the Holy Spirit and the
birth of the Christian Church which Jesus said He would build. Then the
Scripture reminds us that in those days believers "went every where
preaching the word" (Acts 8:4) in accordance with Jesus' Great
Commission to us:"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to
every creature ... Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing
them ... teaching them to obsereve all things whatsoever I have
commanded you ..." (Mark 16:15, Matt. 28:19,20)

Thus, the Church Calendar is an important aid to our understanding and
study of the life and ministry of Jesus, and helps keep the focus of our
worship on the Person of Jesus, who is spoken of throughout the Bible
as the Son of God, and by John as "the Lamb of God which taketh away
the sin of the world." (John 1:29) And so as we enter this year's Advent
season, we look forward to our celebration of the birth of Jesus, even as
we continue our daily ministry of preaching and teaching.

In this year, our continuing ministry occurs with many distractions,
some more serious than others, but all capable of taking our attention
from our primary responsibilities as members of the Christian Church.

[1] Foremost must be placed the threat of Islam, as we recall the prophetic
words of Jesus, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive
many." (Matt. 24:11) Daily, almost hourly, we read of some new affront
against the American and Christian way of life by Muslim followers of
Islam, here in America, and all over the world. Skip MacLure, writing
in "Conservative Outpost" this week expressed the ongoing situation
clearly and succinctly: "It didn’t start with this president, or even the
one before him, though George Bush did make a serious mistake by
characterizing Islam as 'a religion of peace.' That entirely false
premise has hampered this country’s ability to clearly identify and
define a proven and sworn mortal enemy of America, and the entire
western world ... Islam is not, and never has been, a religion of peace.
It is, in fact, a death cult. Its writings promote death, torture, conquest,
persecution, rapine and oppression. It is the only ‘so-called’ religion
on Earth that canonizes conquest and the slaughter of innocents. Our
'Dr. Doom' [Barack Obama] has a magnanimous view of Islam,
probably as a result of his early exposure to all things Muslim."

[2] Currently, as has occurred more than once before, we are witnessing
threats of a war of aggression by a potential nuclear armed North Korea
under the "leadership" of its deranged head of government Kim Jong-il,
and his hand picked successor, Kim Jong-un (that appendix "un" seems
to be almost descriptive of the just out of teen-age boy). North Korea's
regularly repeated ploys call to mind the Peter Sellers film, "The Mouse
That Roared." To date they have managed to gain some reward for giving
up on their threats. If Obama's boasts of his close ties with other national
leaders were meaningful, we should expect China and Russia to exercise
some restraint on the rogue nation, but the possibility of another series
of "Six Power" talks with the usual contributions to North Korea as the
probable result, is about all that has been forthcoming.

[3] A further disclosure of confidential documents via "Wiki Leaks" has
opened American and international diplomacy to serious concern and
embarrassment. The ongoing effects of the failure of our government
to provide adequate security for important documents -- such as is
practiced by business and industrial operations -- is yet to be seen,
but lack of trust in future communications and dealings with America
can very likely be a result.

[4] A far less serious, but extremely annoying futile effort on the part
of the Department of Homeland Security to maintain some increased
level of security through screening of domestic air travelers has brought
into focus what is perceived as a governmental attempt to regulate the
freedom of travel Americans have always experienced. In a comment
on this issue, the irrepressible but always quotable Ann Coulter, said:
"It is becoming increasingly obvious that we need to keep the
government as far away from airport security as possible, and not
only because Janet Napolitano did her graduate work in North Korea."

[5] In its continued amateurish attempts at international relations under
the guise of the misued term "diplomacy," the Obama administration
seems to be committed to "throwing Israel under the bus" and is siding
with Palestine and the other Muslim nations who make no effort to hide
their desire to remove Israel from the face of the earth, and to take over
their capital city of Jerusalem. What the White House does not seem to
understand is God's eteral love and purpose for Jerusalem -- as so
clearly expressed in this verse from Scripture: "And it shall happen in
that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples;
all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all
nations of the earth are gathered against it. (Zechariah 12:3)

In other words -- and we won't use more time or space, there are
ongoing problems which have to be faced and dealt with, but none of
them -- however serious -- can be allowed to detract us from our
responsibilities as members of the Christian Church. Yes, we do have
the instruction of Jesus to be "salt" in our daily life in this world, but
we also have His instructions to be "light" (Matt. 5:13-14). So despite
the problems which we face as individuals and as citizens of our
nation, we must always fulfill our God-assigned responsibilities of our
Lord as members of His Church.

We continue to think we can learn from "What Others Are Saying"

Governor Rick Perry (3rd term Governor of Texas): "Our fight is
clear. We must step up and retake the reins of our government from a
Washington establishment that has abused our trust. We must empower
states to fight for our beliefs … and set out to remind our fellow
Americans why liberty is guaranteed in the Constitution, and take
concrete steps to take back our country.”

Reflecting on Thanksgiving, Skip Mac Lure (Conservative Outpost):
"No other country, no other people, have been as blessed as we. We
are the light and the hope of the civilized world. Obama, Reid, Pelosi,
Holder, Napolitano and their evil ideology will not stand in the face
of the march of the American Patriot."

Dr. Alan Bates, MD (Oregon State Senator, D): "Forbes magazine
in September published a very insightful article which explains why
Barack Obama is anti-American. In a nutshell, Barry Soetoro spent
his formative years in Kenya and Indonesia—not in America---and
adopted his rogue father’s anti-colonialism philosophy ... Virtually
every bit of his behavior can be explained by the belief that America
is an oppressor nation whose wealth and success have been at the
expense of others in the world and, therefore, America must be

Bob Unruh (Staff writer, World Net Daily): "The results of the
Obama administration's decision to submit the United States to the
evaluation of the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, a procedure snubbed
by the Bush administration because of the records of those on the
panel, are starting to appear, and they include harsh condemnation
from such human rights 'leaders' as Cuba, Libya, and Iran ... Esther
Brimmer, an assistant secretary in the bureau of international
organization affairs under Obama, talked about what an 'honor' it
was for the U.S. to be put under the scrutiny of Iran's Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, the Castro regime and others."

Jerry Beavan (called an Evangelical elder statesman): "As for his
religious convictions, Barack Obama appears to be afloat on a sea
of uncertainty, drifting aimlessly between the ports of Christianity
and Islam, and not making firm anchor in the dock of either of those
two intensely conflicting religions."

Not many "One Liners" this week . . .

"Under Holder's influence, American detainee policy is a botched,
hypocritical, politicized mess." (Michael Gerson, Washington Post)

"'Bush did it' is not a foreign policy...Without a strategic vision, 'Bush
did it' leads nowhere." (Victor Davis Hanson, Military historian)

And here are a few random "Afterthoughts" . . .

As new problems with "Obamacare" surface almost daily, one can
imagine the relief Bill Clinton feels as he looks back. If his (Hillary's)
plan to reform and revise health insurance in this country had succeeded,
he would have known the same disastrous results that Obama is faced
with. Maybe that is one reason why he always looks so calm and happy.

VP Biden does have a way with words -- and remember, he's next in
the line of succession to be president. Last week, appearing on MSNBC's
"Morning Joe," he described 2014 as the "drop dead date" for
"transitioning" power to the Afghans, and said that the Afghan leaders
would soon be left on their own, whether they are ready or not. Then on
CNN's "Larry King Live" our silver tongued spokesman said, "We had
to say 'Look, you've got to step up, man' ... Daddy is going to start
taking the training heels off next July, so you'd better practice riding."

Occasionally, even a Supreme Court Justice makes sense. Last week
Justice Antonin Scalia in a speech at the University of Richmond (VA),
affirmed that the Constitution contains no so-called abortion rights. In the
speech which is already drawing attention, Scalia said, “The Constitution
says what it says and it doesn’t say anything more. For flexibility, all
you need is a legislature and a ballot box.” He criticized those who
misinterpret the 14th Amendment’s due process clause to include abortion.
Scalia repeated his view that the Constitution should be taken literally, as
written, rather than interpreting it to include rights not intended to be
protected under law. “Unless the words have meaning and unless judges
give them their fair meaning, democracy doesn’t work.”

Concerning the latest "Wiki-Release" of confidential documents, the
Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, probably said it best as he called
it "the Sept. 11 of world diplomacy." Iran president Ahmadinejad -- not
surprisingly -- saw it as U.S. backed rabble-rousing, and referred to the
American diplomatic statements as "acts of mischief." Meantime, the
Obama White House ordered a government-wide review of how our
federal government agencies safeguard sensitive information. It almost
reminds one of the old adage about locking the barn door after the horse
was stolen.

Our Founding Fathers always had important things to say . . .

"Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality
can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
-- George Washington, 1778

“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come
under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”
--Thomas Jefferson, 1813

And on a slightly different, but practical, theme: "In reality there is
perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as Pride.
Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much
as one pleases, it is still alive, and will now and then peek out and show
itself." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1771

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