Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!
The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.
The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.
The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, "In God We Trust."
And then as they hand the folded flag to the spouse or family member and say those words "from a grateful nation......................." and the tears begin to flow..................
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.
There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why.
Share this with the children you love and all others who love what is referred to, the symbol of "Liberty and Freedom."
October 25, 2007
In the late 1970s, Khmer Rouge dictator Pol Pot oversaw the deaths of about 2 million people in Cambodia. Not surprisingly, Pol Pot's red hordes were especially merciless in their persecution of Christians.
Now, thirty years after the fact, the UN-sponsored Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to begin. The surviving victims of that unspeakably evil communist regime have waited nearly a generation for justice.
Unfortunately, that justice may never come. "Real justice," says Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, "means . . . making decisions . . . based on evidence, not politics." And sadly, according to the Wall Street Journal, politics and allegations of corruption and misuse of funds have already compromised the tribunal's integrity in the eyes of many.
Nonetheless, while the scandals surrounding the tribunal garner headlines, a much more amazing story is emergingâand it involves the murderous persecutors of Christianity.
One of the major Cambodian officials cited for crimes against humanity is named Duch. He directed the "notorious S21 prison, where some 14,000 people are thought to have been tortured before being sent to their deaths in the killing fields outside Phnom Penh." Unlike other former Cambodian leaders, Duch has actually admitted his part in the killings of nearly one-quarter of Cambodia's population. He has spent the last eight years in a military prison.
"I have done very bad things in my life," Duch told Religion Today back in 1999. "Now it is time to bear the consequences for my actions." You see, before Duch surrendered to authorities, he surrendered to Christ. And he was not alone.
Ninety percent of Cambodia's Christians may have been slaughtered during the reign of Pol Pot, but as human rights advocate Kristin Wright reported, more than 2,000 Khmer Rouge who once followed Pol Pot now follow Christ! Many of them converted after encountering the faith of those they murdered.
"It is a testimony," says Wright, "to the courageous lives of Christians like [one Cambodian named] Haim, who used their final words to witness to Khmer Rouge soldiers before being dumped in a mass grave." And now, years after nearly being exterminated, Christianity is growing in Cambodia, despite the new government's clamp-down on non-Buddhist religious activities.
It is a modern-day realization of what ancient Church father Tertullian proclaimed: The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.
And around the world today, the blood of Christian martyrs is flowing as never before. We have talked on "BreakPoint" many times about the savage persecution of Christians in many Muslim countries, in China, and in ancient Christian homelands in Iraq. That is why I am asking you and your church to participate in the 10th annual Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church this November 11. Visit our website at www.BreakPoint.org to get materials your church can use in observing this day of prayer.
And as you pray for the persecuted Church, pray for the persecutors as well, that they, like the Apostle Paul and the former Khmer Rouge militants, will embrace the One whose followers they persecuted.
Now since the show and Wedding Singer are over, I can focus on other things. Like the cast party! I'm hoping there will be a little poodle there with a leg on his head and tuney pin badges!!!
So that's the end of Annie, Get Your Gun. It was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. Some people even claimed it was their favorite show we had done so far! Not mine personally, but then different people like different things, and it's hard to top Beauty and the Beast (and Guys and Dolls - Sky Masterson, wow!)
My computer has been functioning vvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyy sssssssssssssssslllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyy recently, and I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to remedy that. Mostly, I was deleting programs I've never used and old files and documents I don't need anymore. Although once I realized the culprit was that I had t0o many .wav files I just converted them all to mp3's (which also work with Audacity, memo to me and Scotty) which take up a fraction of the space and everything was right again.
In the process of deleting old documents, I found a fun quiz I made up many weeks ago and then forgot about. So I am waiting for this current poll to finish up so I can post the new one, which I have to warn you, will only be fun for about 1/2 of the people who read my blog as the other half will not know what it's about. And I'm not talking about the Princess Bride. :)
I watched the rest of Legally Blonde: The Musical today. Not the best ever. I liked the first few songs but then it just felt boring and predictable. (I guess that's what happens when you've already seen the movie. Twice.) And call me old-fashioned, but I really didn't like the girl proposing to the guy at the end.
I spent all day Sunday laying on the couch watching TV except for the 20 minutes I went grocery shopping. When I got in my car I thought I would go for a stroll in the sun after I got back, but after wandering around the store feeling like I was about to pass out, I decided to go back to my couch and enjoy the sun through the window. It's nice that I had a day to sleep in and rest since I've been so sick. Although, silly me, I thought(or hoped) it was just allergies. I'm feeling much better, just still have a bit of a cough.
I started my Christmas shopping 2 weeks ago. My theory is to buy one or two presents a week so that it's under control and doesn't cost me a fortune all at once. I have 5 people taken care of so far plus a birthday present and lots of other ideas still to use. I feel rather accomplished!
In the midst of all my shopping, I started thinking about what things I would like. And since my birthday is also coming up I decided to write down the things I would enjoy having; that's what the "wish list" on the sidebar is. (It's really to help my family with ideas. So, random people who read my blog, this isn't me trying to get you to give me a present) ;)
HAPPY MIDDLE OF OCTOBER!!!
By the way, when does daylight savings time end? Shouldn't I be getting an extra hour to sleep soon???
And only 5 more days til I see The Wedding Singer @ the Fox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was great. We talked, laughed played Pit and Killer Uno...and 2 hours later I am just getting into bed. (Although Cam and Ape are out walking.) It reminded me of the "good old days" when sleep was an afterthought and talking, playing games and just hanging out were the most important things. I remember a specific time when we started a movie at 4am in Seneca. Although I think there was more than one time. :) My motto always was, "Sleep's overrated, you can sleep when you're dead."
Hmm...so this post was going to be about the great time I had with everyone tonight, and it ended up as a short stroll down memory lane. I must be getting old.
The Pursuit of God, Chapter 1
So, as I begin to catch up on them, (since I'm actually going to be at home this morning!) there will likely be an increase in my blogging.
For example, I just found out that Hillary Clinton said in a speech last week she would roll back President Bush's funding restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research if she's elected. She also said she would prohibit political appointees from limiting research based on anything but "scientific reasons." How can people condone killing of human life for research? And it's not as though any of their experiments have produced anything. Whereas adult stem-cells have been proven to be very beneficial in specific cases and have all the same qualities of embryonic stem cells with the advantage of no life being destroyed.
I ended up at www.hisdarkmaterials.org and read a long page of quotes by Philip Pullman.
He is a man who grew up in the "church" but says he has never seen any evidence that there is a God who has revealed Himself to humans. As I read more and more of his quotes, I understood more of where he is coming from and his world view. He has grievances with "organized religion" because of the killings and torturing done in the name of some god throughout history and even today. He doesn't believe that there is such a thing as absolute truth.
I know there are many people in our world who have similar beliefs, but it is heartbreaking when I encounter a specific person who lives his life this way.
In his books there is something called the Republic of Heaven. Here is a quote from Mr. Pullman about that.
"The kingdom of heaven promised us certain things: it promised us happiness and a sense of purpose and a sense of having a place in the universe, of having a role and a destiny that were noble and splendid; and so we were connected to things. We were not alienated. But now that, for me anyway, the King is dead, I find that I still need these things that heaven promised, and I'm not willing to live without them. I don't think I will continue to live after I'm dead, so if I am to achieve these things I must try to bring them about – and encourage other people to bring them about – on earth, in a republic in which we are all free and equal – and responsible – citizens."
And in response to the question, What are the key values in the Republic, rather than the Kingdom, of Heaven? He answered,
"Firstly, a sense that this world where we live is our home. Our home is not somewhere else. There is no elsewhere. This is a physical universe and we are physical beings made of material stuff. This is where we live.
Secondly, a sense of belonging, a sense of being part of a real and important story, a sense of being connected to other people, to people who are not here any more, to those who have gone before us. And a sense of being connected to the universe itself.
All those things were promised and summed up in the phrase, 'The Kingdom of Heaven'. But if the Kingdom is dead, we still need those things. We can't live without those things because it's too bleak, it's too bare and we don't need to. We can find a way of creating them for ourselves if we think in terms of a Republic of Heaven.
This is not a Kingdom but a Republic, in which we are all free and equal citizens, with – and this is the important thing – responsibilities. With the responsibility to make this place into a Republic of Heaven for everyone. Not to live in it in a state of perpetual self-indulgence, but to work hard to make this place as good as we possibly can."
Too me, that is the saddest part of all; that even while he is denying that there is a God, life after death and a heaven (or hell), he can't get away from the inherit desire to belong to something greater than ourselves.
After reading that whole entire page of quotes where he gave glimpses into himself, I really wanted to pray for him that his eyes would be opened to the truth. That he would receive revelation that there is a God who loves him very much who sent His Son to die in his place and was raised again so that Mr. Pullman might have newness of life.
That is my hearts desire.
If you would, please say a prayer for Philip Pullman. God can rock his world!!!
Click here to get to the web site, then click "about the show" and then the hairspray can that says "dancing in Baltimore" to read it for yourself.