How the World Changed 30 Years Ago [Video]

How The World Changed 30 years Ago

Celebration of Fall of Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, 2014

Saturday, November 9, 2019, was the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the day the world changed forever in a way unimaginable for the seven decades preceding that historic event. It was also the first world-changing event I was aware of as an adult and the most significant until 9/11 in my lifetime.

Therefore, it is prudent that time is remembered and the events reviewed as we look back 30 years at what the world was like when the Berlin Wall still existed, and how that day was the death knell for the first and most powerful communist nation to have ever existed.

The Nuclear Threat Was Dangerous and MAD in 1989

It is difficult to realize what the fall of that infamous Wall signified at the time if one was not raised in school doing the ‘civil defense’ drills in class, as I did in grade school. We were instructed to lay underneath our desks with hands covering our heads when a civil defense alert sounded in the school.

Inset.1.11.10.2019That was the best method of survival we had if we weren’t close to a civil defense shelter in the event of a nuclear blast. After all, not every public school had a shelter that would serve to even minimally protect against a nuclear attack.

The USSR also had the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons which has ever existed. At the high point of its production, in 1985, the communist behemoth held a stockpile of over 39,000 nuclear weapons.

America’s nuclear weapons cache was the second largest, and at its peak in 1965 held just over 31,000 weapons. In 1985, though America remained the second largest nuclear power, a steady reduction of the size of our arsenal left a total of slightly more than 21,000.

Moreover, by 1985 five other nations had obtained nuclear weapons; the United Kingdom, France, Israel, China, and India. By 1989, the world was just preparing for North Korea to enter the realm of a nuclear threat.

The strategy developed to deal with the increasing danger posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons was deemed the M.A.D. or Mutually Assured Destruction theory.

The theory is based on the fact that nuclear weaponry is so devastating that no government wants to use them. Neither side will attack the other with their nuclear weapons because both sides are guaranteed to be totally destroyed in the conflict.

This strategy was thought necessary to maintain a nuclear ‘balance of power’ between the Soviets and Americans. That strategy was developed during the Cold War era of the 1980s with the idea that as long as neither nation was capable of launching a rapid and overwhelming first strike, the ‘balance of power,’ would stand and an uneasy safety would result.

Inset.2.11.10.2019The M.A.D. strategy that began in earnest during the 1980s also met the instrument of its demise in the 1980s, with the American most credited with winning the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan. He began a change in the American stance with a now-infamous proposal for a Strategic Defense Initiative, which was labeled “Star Wars” by the Left.

Reagan declared his S.D.I. proposal in a March 1983, address known as his “Star Wars” speech. The initiative was a plan to build a nuclear missile defense network of satellites that would stop ballistic missile attacks on the United States primarily those that might come from the Soviet Union.

Reagan announced, “I call upon the scientific community who gave us nuclear weapons to turn their great talents to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”

Earlier that same month, President Reagan coined one of his most famous phrases for the Soviet state by calling it an “evil empire.” Unfortunately,  the S.D.I. program was opposed from the start by the Leftist Democrats in Congress, and eventually was scrapped citing “budget concerns.”

The USSR Was the “Evil Empire”

Soviet Russia was unabashedly a communist nation. However, it is especially noteworthy that the name of the nation in 1989 was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR.

The Soviet Union was the prime example of the fact that Socialism is a kinder face to present to the world than Communism. In truth, they were simply two sides of the same blood-stained coin then, and that remains the case today.

The USSR was a conglomeration of 15 ‘states’ to form the largest nation by landmass the world has ever seen. Two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former Marxist goliath was fractured and two of their former states, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, had ‘inherited’ large amounts of nuclear weapons.

The prospect of worldwide nuclear destruction was regarded with fear both among Americans and around the globe. However, President Reagan changed that prevailing attitude with a phrase he used in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983.

When Reagan labeled the USSR “an evil empire,” he galvanized support for an active response to Soviet totalitarianism. That began the road leading to the destruction of the Berlin Wall six years later.

The inevitability of the fall of that wall was hammered home in another speech in June of 1987 at the front of the infamous “Brandenburg Gate” section of the Berlin Wall dividing West Berlin from communist East Berlin. It was there he publically challenged Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Two years and five months later, the wall was declared null and void by the East German authorities. What happened next made the history we remember today.

The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself.

The Berlin Wall was a very unique structure because it divided a city which lay well within the borders of communist East Germany. East Germany was one of a number of eastern European countries under the control of the Soviets when the continent was divided by what became known as the “Iron Curtain” after World War II.

Inset.3.11.10.2019All of that was changed because of that fateful day 30 years ago. When the final collapse of the USSR came in 1991, the map of Europe was radically rearranged.

Germany was one nation again after being divided since 1945. Others, such as Hungary, Poland and, Romania were freed from Soviet tyranny and became independent nations that remain so today.

Most importantly, millions of human beings were liberated from slavery under a regime and system as brutal and horrible and even more lethal than even Nazi Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall deserves recognition as one of the monumental historical events in the 20th century.

A Cold War Ally from the Polish Shipyards

It would be remiss to not mention that President Reagan was allied with other opponents of the “evil empire,” who aided tremendously in the Cold War struggle. These included the formidable Britsh Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (the best PM since Churchill), Pope John Paul II, and an obscure Polish Union leader, Lech Walesa.

It would require a longer series of articles to give due credit to these three. However, I would like to highlight Walesa at the close of this piece for he represents the ordinary citizen under Communist oppression during the Cold War era.

Walesa began the first independent labor union under the Soviet rule of Poland which was later named, Solidarność, or Solidarity, in August of 1980. It started in a protest that issued a number of bold demands to the communists.

On August 14, 1980, during protests at the Lenin Shipyard caused by an increase in food prices, Wałęsa climbed over the shipyard fence and joined the workers inside, who elected him head of a strike committee to negotiate with management. Three days later the strikers’ demands were conceded, but when strikers in other Gdańsk enterprises asked Wałęsa to continue his strike out of solidarity, he immediately agreed. Wałęsa took charge of an Interfactory Strike Committee that united the enterprises of the Gdańsk-SopotGdynia area. This committee issued a set of bold political demands, including the right to strike and form free trade unions, and it proclaimed a general strike. Fearing a national revolt, the communist authorities yielded to the workers’ principal demands

Inset.4.11.10.2019“Solidarity” was born after that agreement and millions of other Polish workers joined or formed independent unions on their own. Eventually, the government recognized the new movement which steadily and carefully pushed forward the cause of liberty against the ever-present threat of Soviet intervention.

Walesa went on to become the President of Poland from 1990-95 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his efforts.

The awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to Wałęsa in 1983 was criticized by the Polish government. Fearing involuntary exile, he remained in Poland while his wife, Danuta, traveled to Oslo, Norway, to accept the prize on his behalf.

The beginning of the end of the Cold War was announced by the destruction of the Berlin Wall. However, it took the efforts of national patriots like Walesa to begin the march toward freedom from the evils of communist rule in Europe.

It also took the prayers of millions more to produce leaders of courage from Walesa to Reagan who would take on the monstrous “evil empire.” Those kinds of prayer warriors are needed even more today if the accomplishment of destroying one communist wall is not going to be revoked by allowing the specter of socialist enslavement to be raised up from within.

The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Glyn Lowe PhotoWorks’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Roadsidepictures’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Burnt Pineapple Productions’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Gary Todd’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Mpls55408’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

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How You Represent Matters

The destiny of a group, generation most times rest on the representative of that group or generation.

1 Samuel 17. If the representative fails, that generation is most likely going to fail. If the representative succeeds, that generation/group will succeed. Even in family, businesses, government, sports, class rooms, the person at the helm of affairs will determine whether that team succeed or fails.

Goliath was the Philistines representative, whereas David was the Israelites representative in their battle. My mentor/spiritual father once said life is a battle of powers.

Few key points to know & act on:

  1. Be careful what you do as a representative in your group
  2. Be careful about deals and promises you make.
  3. Be careful about what you say to other parties as you represent your party.
  4. Be careful of what you ask for.
  5. Never boast of yourself when representing your group, but of Him God who sent you there to represent His people.

When you represent him well and boast of him, you will not only be promoted and known but your lineage will also be remembered. (1 Sam 17:55-58).

Seek to promote Christ first and always and you will be known.

Have you ever thought of it that there is a generation/group you are representing? If not, then think about it now and thread careful the path you are on. SELAH 🤔


Submitted by F. Erekata

Many thanks for stopping by, until next time….

Peace!

Leadership Development

The art of personal development is one of the process that marks the commencement of leadership quality in an individual.

Which leader would you say has impacted you the most? It is certain, there must be some things about that leader that attracted you and won you over.

Do you know that you also have the potential of becoming a leader?

But before we go further,who is a leader?

Different people have different definition and views of who a leader is. But this is who i think a leader should be:

A leader should be someone who has the ability to influence people positively. Start influencing people around you positively.

A leader is someone who is passionate about bringing out the best out of people.

A leader is someone who is compassionate. Are you compassionate about the people around you?

A leader is someone who genuinely does the right things for the right reasons. Do you always do the right thing genuinely or with ulterior motives?

A leader should be principled and people cantered.

As a leader, the situation you live in does not have to live in you.

A leader is someone who always leave a place and people better than the way he or she met them.

Leadership development is first about yourself as a leader then developing those that are following you to also become leaders by laying a good example for them to follow.

According to John Maxwell in his book “Developing the leader within You” states that leadership is the ability to obtain followers

If leadership is the ability to obtain followers then the next thing that comes to mind is how so i lead these people that are following me?

Your character will to a large extent determine how well you lead your followers

Character development precedes leadership development and a good character makes a great leader while a bad character makes a bad leader.

What is Character?

According to Myles Monroe; character is what you know about yourself, who you are when no one is watching

Another word for character is integrity and integrity is being sincere and honest with God, with others and yourself.

As a leader if your character is questionable in private it can stand against you in public

It is important to note that freedom is a thing of the mind, a function of your cogitation. If you are bound in your mind you can not be free on your outward disposition.

Truth about leadership

One truth about leadership is that, it is only people who are free that can truly lead and it is the truth that sets free.

Some leaders are born and some leaders are made. But everyone is a leader in one way or the other.

Knowledge is power, an essential tool in leadership. My people perish for the lack of knowledge.

As you develop yourself as a leader, be mindful of the fact that you are loaded with great potentials for problem solving. You are loaded with potentials for meeting needs. You are embedded with potentials for making positive changes in your family and society at large.

Identity what needs to he done around you and do it if you can. Leadership development is about taking the first step. Even if nobody follows you at first, when they see that you are consistent they will.

Let me know who has impacted you positively as a leader and how you are also impacting the people around you in your own little way.


Many thanks for coming around, until next time..

Peace,

Danny

Be a leader

If a leader doubts
The followers will doubt;
If a leader hesitates,
The followers will hesitate;
If a leader is weak,
The followers will be weak;
If a leader is disorganized,
The followers will be disorganized;
If a leader has a clear vision,
The followers will have a clear vision;
If a leader is courageous,
The followers will be courageous;
If a leader is confident,
The followers will be confident.
Leaders lead;
Followers follow;
As a leader, be a leader,
And lead as you want your followers to follow.

The “Overlord” Factor: 75 Years Later [Video]

The 'Overlord' Factor: 75 Years Later

Landing on Omaha beach in Normandy, June 6, 1944

Thursday, June 6, 2019, marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Europe by the Allied forces in World War II. That monumental battle, code-named “Operation Overlord,” was the definitive turning point which led to the total defeat of Hitler’s Third Reich less than one year later.

The invasion was the result of many months of meticulous planning combined with fortuitous events both in the battlefield arena and the political atmospheres of both the Allied and Axis powers. The victory at the beaches of Normandy was also the result of incredible valor by the warriors who fought against the heinous enemy, thousands of whom gave their lives and are today memorialized on those very beaches.

However, with all of these factors put together, on the very eve of launching this enormous attack, it looked like “Overlord” might not be carried out at all. It required a last-minute and very small window of a mini-weather-miracle for “D-Day” to go forward.

The Planning, Peril, and Politics of “Overlord”

D-Day

Planning for the D-Day invasion formerly began in June of 1943, after the May 1943 “Trident Conference.” Prior to then, there was much disagreement between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin Roosevelt about launching an invasion at all.

Churchill at first did not favor a massive invasion force taking the fight directly to Hitler’s forces. He instead wanted to conduct a campaign of smaller attacks against the Nazis from the sea.

The Trident Conference in May 1943 featured another confrontation over the invasion of Europe. This time, Roosevelt got his way (for the most part): Churchill committed Britain to an invasion of France by May 1944. There was little to the agreement other than a very loose timetable and the questions of who, where, how and when were left very open.

However, the cooperation between the allies, especially when dealing with Russia as the other large country against the Axis powers, was initially rocky at best. The one, unshakeable factor that united them all was summed up by Roosevelt’s announcement at the Casablanca Conference in January of 1943.

FDR made a surprise declaration at the conference that this war would only end with the “unconditional surrender,” of Germany. Both Churchill and Stalin agreed with that goal.

The third nation of the Axis, Italy, had already begun to crumble and later in 1943, they would surrender. This made both the opportunity and urgency for an invasion paramount.

A successful landing and foothold in France would force Hitler into a two-front war. An eventual allied victory was assured from that point on.

The Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was responsible for the military planning and execution of “Operation Overlord.” The success of the plan was basically dependant on two things.

It had to be a surprise attack, and it had to be an attack with overwhelming force. How the D-Day invasion was planned and conducted is summarized well in the following video from Prager University.

 

The Legacy of D-Day

The legacy of D-Day is multi-faceted to be sure, however, perhaps the most important facet is discovered by something President Roosevelt had in mind when he determined that Germany must submit to “unconditional surrender.”

Roosevelt pushed for unconditional surrender to avoid the political mixup that followed the First World War. In 1918 Germany sued for peace on the basis of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, but the Versailles Treaty proved much harsher. This fostered the “stab in the back” myth in Germany that helped bring Hitler to power. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed that this time the Germans should have no illusions and no excuses.

D-DayWorld War II was the first truly worldwide war. Every continent was touched even if not directly attacked during the conflict, which was not the case during the First World War.

It was also a ‘last of its kind’ war, in several ways. One; WWII was the last war in which America participated that could claim a complete and decisive victory.

Two; WWII was the last declared war America has fought. Three; It was the last war before the creation of the United Nations.

By the way, I don’t believe those three are unconnected, especially considering the current nature of the U.N. Finally, WWII was the first, last, and only war requiring the use of nuclear weapons to secure its end.

World War II began only 21 years after the end of the First World War! It has now been almost 75 years and counting since the end of the Second World War.

While that is a good piece of news, it should not deceive us. Terrible, though smaller, conflicts all over the globe are still happening.

Moreover, for the past two decades, we have been both fighting against and witness to horrific jihadist terror campaigns worldwide. No, WWII did not teach us to never fight in a war again.

Perhaps the greatest legacy of D-Day is what I call the “Overlord” factor. The invasion was the first action to back up the statement that only unconditional surrender was acceptable and only a complete allied victory would rightly end the war.

Any other result cheapened the sacrifice of blood spent on the battlefield. War is too serious and destructive to be conducted hoping the enemy will negotiate.

Which is why war must only be considered after all other alternatives are exhausted, including negotiation. The single acceptable negotiation in a real war is the surrender of the enemy.

D-Day put feet to the axiom of General Douglas MacArthur that in war,

There is no substitute for victory.

Many of us might never see the likes of another worldwide conflict in our lifetimes. However, I feel confident that another “world war” is coming and it will truly be the ‘war to end all wars,’ for it will mark the return of Christ and the ultimate final victory over the enemy of our souls.

The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Revelation 11:18 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

The World in the 20th Century, vol. 1, The Rage of Nations, by Edward R. Kantowicz, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer, Simon and Schuster, N.Y., 1960

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Dennis Larsen’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Pere Ubu’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Martin Kramer’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Struggle

Life is all about struggle.

You never live without struggle.

Life begins with a struggle.

Life ends with a struggle.

Struggle is the part of our life.

A mother struggles to give birth to her child.

Every living creature struggles for survival.

Struggle is the rule of life.

If you struggle to get something today,

Tomorrow or in your near future, you’ll receive your grand rewards.

Don’t scare to struggle.

Enjoy your struggle and hug it like your true pal.

Your grand success and victory is always waiting for you.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

Jesus’ Ministry

It’s the Holy Week for Christians, and I reverently remember our Lord, Christ Jesus. In the quiet of my domain, I search the Bible for answers to my questions such as what was Jesus’ real ministry on earth? Did Jesus practice a religion or was He a rebel who rode off into the desert eluding Roman authorities?

Jesus spread the principles of entering God’s kingdom to all walks of life in Galilee, Capernaum, Judea, and Nazareth. He started at about the age of thirty at the River Jordan near Bethany-across-the-Jordan where He called His first five disciples. Though our Savior was Jewish, his ministry often taught parables and verses from the “sacred books” which we know today as the Old Testament. But, sometimes He referred to the Hebrew Bible, specifically the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), the Torah, and the Book of Psalms.

As you may detect, Jesus disdained religious discord. He wanted people to love one another and love God. This was the basic concept of all His messages and the only way to heaven. Love and kindness is not a religion but an emotion, so He reached listeners through relationships rather than synagogues. When we integrate the theory of one religion into our life, God’s lessons often become overshadowed by hypocrisy, hatred, and division. Today’s religious persecution of humanity is such an example of this concept. Instead of loving one another and maintaining the state of our hearts, we fight to the end defending our religious rights. This was the exact reason Jesus’ ministry remained non-denominational – one church under Christ Jesus.

The parables Jesus taught became His primary method of speaking His Father’s words. He rarely used texts out of scriptures nor explained or commented on them. He considered this “preaching,” not teaching; instead, He left Himself open to interpretation and offered a story for listeners to ponder and ask, how can this get me into heaven? The Parable of the Mustard Seed was Jesus’ favorite.

THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF JESUS’ MINISTRY

LOVE

At the core of Jesus’ ministry were a few critical impressions which He consistently shared with everyone; foremost was love. Believers asked Him occasionally which commandment was the greatest, and His response stood with, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength.” His second favorite was, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is the nucleus of everything right and perfect in the world. Jesus taught examples of love and compassion by healing the sick, restoring eyesight, and feeding the hungry. But, He emphasized loving our enemies for even though they are wicked, they also need love. “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness was the second most important concept to Jesus. He spoke we must repent of sins and ask God for forgiveness so God may forgive our wrongdoings. Jesus claimed we must forgive every time we are wronged. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

JUDGING OTHERS

Jesus also warned His listeners not to judge others since we are all sinners. Though born sinless, He still had mercy and compassion for mankind. He often told the story of an adulteress woman about to be stoned to death (found in John 8:1-30). Jesus told her accusers, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” They all departed and Jesus told the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”

WEALTH AND POVERTY

Jesus did not speak it is a sin to be wealthy, only that we give our riches back to the Lord and others in need. He spoke of the affluent becoming too attached to material possessions for when we die, our “objects of happiness” will mean nothing. Christ used the example of a rich man who lived by all the other commandments, and he approached Him to find out how to have eternal life. Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The man became very sad because he could not part with his riches. Jesus later told His disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Doesn’t say much for the Powerball today, does it?

Let us analyze your strength, as a Christian, in this situation. If Jesus were to come to you today and ask you to give up your home and all possessions to follow Him, WOULD YOU DO IT? If the answer is yes, you may find eternal salvation in heaven. If the answer is no, it is time to question your faith and love of money and objects. What means more to you – living as one with God, now and forevermore, or exploiting the riches which cease after you die and you stand in judgment by the Lord? Will it be God or your self-centeredness?

HYPOCRISY

Jesus learned of hypocrisy by observing the Pharisees. They prayed in the streets and always attended the temple, but the inside, their contemptible hearts were made of stone. He loathed hypocrisy in any form. Our sovereignty to God is a private matter and not to be exploited in crowds. You may ask why this is imperative? Because we are sinners, our actions often fall short of God’s requirements. If we expose our praise and inner thoughts of God to outsiders, yet our daily activities show different, we become deemed a hypocrite and severely judged. Many non-believers will not follow the church because of this very reason.

PRAYER

Jesus often taught the nature and power of prayer. He emphasized “The Lord’s Prayer” and said it was not for show but a private matter. “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Prayers are to be directed to God the Father only, not angels, saints, or Mary. Jesus considered chanting of prayers to be of pagan roots, now observed in Catholic and Orthodox churches. He asked we use prayers to develop a close, personal relationship with God.

Do we see the irony in Jesus’ instruction on praying? How many large churches, today, organize huge crusades and festivals to bring people closer to God? How often do we receive an invite on Facebook to join a Watch Party where someone is screaming out the name of the Lord and asking for forgiveness? The idea churches adopted prayer methods against Jesus’ teaching is quite a dose to swallow. They walk in total disregard of the foundation of God’s word!

Christ Jesus tested and prevailed in His ministry of love, right down to His last days. He was a sinless mortal man leading the way for humanity to follow in His footsteps. Yes, Jesus paid the ultimate price for His beliefs in love.

On this day, Good Friday, I plead my faith to Him, under the cross which He brutally hung on for me and all sinners. I also pray my Father will bless my ongoing ministry for all who come searching to fill a void in their heart with our Lord, Jesus Christ. And finally I pray, friends, you find God’s peace and love on this holy weekend. www.danabicksauthor.com

_____________________

The Most Dangerous Person in Congress [Video]

Rep. Ilhan Omar

There have been some very unusual happenings in the U.S. Congress since the 2018 midterm elections due to the influx of a few newcomers to political office. On the GOP side, new Representative Dan Crenshaw [R-TX] has injected an unusual amount of conservative common sense on Capitol Hill.

On the Democratic side, let’s just say that common sense is not their forte. The incoherent babblings of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [D-NY] are the leading examples demonstrating a lack of common sense from the Left.

What makes AOC and the others particularly unusual is their immediate bombastic demands not simply to be heard but to be considered off-limits from criticism. A prime demonstration of this attitude came immediately after AOC first offered her “Green New Deal.”

She received blistering, well-deserved criticism for the ridiculous proposal and its ‘solutions.’ Her reaction was to dismiss critics as possibly racist and sexist, and bark back that since she is the only one trying to solve this phantom problem she’s “the boss.”

However, as bad as the ideas of AOC are, there is another new member of Congress whose objectives are potentially far more hazardous to America as a free nation. That person is Representative Ilhan Omar [D-MN].

Who Is Ilhan Omar?

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan Omar was born in Somalia on October 4, 1981. Her story of the family escaping from Somalia, living in Kenya as refugees, and later coming to America in 1992 and later being granted asylum reads like a script for a Hollywood production.

When she first came to the U.S. Omar spoke only Somali. However, within three years she spoke English well enough to translate for her grandfather at political events, which she took an early interest in at the age of 14.

The family moved to Minnesota in 1995, and Omar became an American citizen in 2000. After high school, she attended college at North Dakota State University and received degrees in both political science and international studies in 2011.

From 2012 to 2016 Omar dabbled in politics as a campaign manager for two successful candidates, one to the Minneapolis City Council and another to the state Senate in Minnesota. In 2016 she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives after her Republican opponent, who was also a Somali activist, withdrew from the campaign.

In June of 2018, Omar began her campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives and ultimately won an expected victory as her district

 is the most Democratic district in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

So far, the information I have presented is missing one fact about Omar, simply because that particular item is popularly viewed as something that doesn’t pertain to her political office. This fact is that Rep. Omar is a practicing Muslim, who has demonstrated it from her first act upon arriving in Washington D.C. which was taking the oath of office on a copy of the Quran.

However, when one samples biographical information about her, the fact that she is Muslim is hardly mentioned. That is unless it is mentioned as a historical achievement to have been one of only two Muslim women ever elected to national office.

I submit that this is not only the most important thing we need to understand about Omar, it is also the thing that makes her potentially the most dangerous person in Congress today.

Why Is She Dangerous?

Rep. Ilhan Omar

What must be understood is that Rep. Omar is not dangerous because she is Muslim. If that were the only factor and it didn’t impinge upon her service in the federal government, no harm, no foul.

She is dangerous because she is a Muslim activist and apologist for Sharia-compliant Islam. Sharia is a formal Islamic law system that claims precedence for all Muslims and instructs them to wage ‘jihad,’ or war, against all non-Islamic people.

To be clear, Islam is not so monolithic that all sects recognize Sharia as an authoritative interpretation of the Quran. However, the country of Omar’s origin does claim deference to Sharia.

Somalia, from which Ilhan Omar hails, adheres to the Shafi’i madhhab (school of jurisprudence). A Shafi’i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy,…

This manual of Sharia, aka Islamic law, outlines the requirements of waging jihad against non-Muslims. The goal of jihad is simple; total domination of the world by Muslims.

Jihad comes in two varieties, normal jihad which is conducted with the authority of a Muslim country, and so-called “defensive” jihad, which according to Sharia all Muslims are to be engaged in today because of the conflicts of recent decades between America and various Islamic nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The objection that arises at this point is this; just because Ilhan Omar is from a nation that embraces jihad doesn’t mean that she does the same. That would be correct if this was the only evidence available.

However, her actions in her brief political career reveal far more evidence pointing to U.S. Representative Omar as a dangerous Islamic terrorist supporter. Of course, she would deny this assertion if anyone had the intestinal fortitude to ask her directly but her actions speak much louder than any denials she would present.

What Has She Done?

There are a plethora of actions Rep. Omar has exhibited from her earliest dabbling into politics until the present that strongly suggests she supports Islamic terrorists.

Right after she was elected as a Minnesota state legislator, she actually pushed a judge for lenient sentences for nine men who tried to join the Islamic State group

In a similar manner, Omar got right to work as a Congressional office-holder by disparaging Israel at every opportunity. During her first couple of weeks in Congress, Rep. Omar

…made anti-Semitic remarks. She supports BDS. She’s defended the noxious Black Hebrew Israelites against the Covington Catholic kids, saying that the notoriously racist sect were actually the victims at the March to Life brouhaha.

Rep. Ilhan OmarJust a few days afterward, Omar proposed that the Department of Homeland Security should be defunded. This Cabinet office, which was created as a response to the Islamic attacks of 9/11, is charged with interdiction of terroristic threats against America and she wants it shut down.

Late in March Omar gave a speech at a fundraiser for “Muslim Empowerment,” sponsored by the Council of American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] which dismissed the 9/11 terror attacks by devout Muslims as “some people did something.”

This outrageous comment should disturb any real American, yet, as seen in the following video, her cohorts in Congress go to the matt defending her. Moreover, her advocates jump right to the Left’s favorite smear of conservatives, that they are racist.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw [R-TX] is a real blessing in Congress and absolutely correct in criticizing Omar and her defenders.  Of course, the Leftists in Congress are appalled that their favorite Muslim has received any backlash at all.

It should be noted that Omar was either uninformed [unlikely] or simply lied about when CAIR was founded. It wasn’t after 9/11/2001 but back in 1994 as a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is itself a terrorist organization with strong ties to active Islamic terror groups such as Hamas. It is not an overstatement to say that in Congress today, the biggest defender of the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR is Ilhan Omar.

This has been but a sampling of many such acts that this Muslim congresswoman has committed which bring into serious question just whose side she is on. She has taken every opportunity during her short time in Congress to favor Islam and Muslim terrorists and downplay their threats to America.

Her comments about 9/11 at the CAIR conference actually tried to paint Muslims as the real victims of the attack, rather than 3,000 Americans who died and the loved ones they left behind. The fact that Omar has many supporters and defenders in Congress from the Left suggests that they either agree with her or don’t think she is a serious problem.

They are simply wrong. Rep. Ilhan Omar is the most dangerous person in the U.S. Congress today. She should be at least censured for her anti-Semitism or better removed from Congress altogether, but that is a very doubtful action especially with the current makeup of the House.

Thankfully her term in Congress is only two years so there is a chance Omar can be voted out in 2020. Let’s pray that her district in Minnesota sees the light and votes to replace her.

And Asa cried to the LORD his God, “O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” 2 Chronicles 14:11 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Shawn Rossi’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Paris Malone’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Garry Knight’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Wally Gobetz’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Religious Persecution

Religious persecution is a never-ending battle. Innocent Christians are crucified every day in the name of God for believing in a higher way of life. On our home turf, distance protects us; yet examples around the world appear in our own living room. If only everyone would come to terms with God’s peace! My heart remains in remorse over the wrong direction we are heading today. But, amongst these times of terror, the steadfast still walk with Jesus to praise and spread the Lord’s words of hope. Blessed be the faithful!

Some may not be aware my wife did missionary work in Guinea, West Africa for the International Mission Board. Her humanitarian efforts served the Susu tribes where they dug wells for fresh water. She also held a Vacation Bible School for pre-school children in the capital city of Conakry. Her living arrangement was in a compound enclosed with a fifteen-foot cement wall and broken bottles placed on top for safety. Two security guards stood guard twenty-four hours a day. Amidst the 110 degree weather, lack of fresh running water, recurring power outages, illness from vaccine shots, and contaminated foods, she and her group forged onward; it was necessary for the Islamists to know God loves everyone.

Missionary meeting a woman with AIDS in Susu tribes
My wife and aides meeting town people of Conakry
Teaching Susu tribes how to use their new wells

But, months of pre-planning and training was mandatory before she could enter Africa. The World Mission Boards warns missionaries to be careful who you speak to, not to look militants in the eye, and to dress in public as one of the crowd. They could not take for granted the deep commitment the Soussou had to their own religion. Not everyone finds peace in the spirit of Christian voodoo where God is the last word. Amid the incomprehension of entering a Third World country, she boarded an airplane with a round-trip ticket and the church’s prayer for her safe return. God bless our missionaries!

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)

By God’s mercy, my wife was one of the lucky few to serve and leave Africa without incident. The internet is filled with stories of those murdered in the hands of the Peace Corps and other religious affiliations. It is obvious Christians still walk, today, in the suffering Christ paid for our sins. China and Pakistan, for example, recently suffered mass genocides and burnings of their churches. Bangladesh murders secular activists and Christians, more or less with impunity. Statistics reveal North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Iraq, and Syria persecute Christians more than any other faith group. Making matters worse, governments in the West and the UN do not offer emergency help to victims.

With the influx of Middle Eastern immigrants and other foreigners into the United States, the religious tide is shifting dramatically here too. Bibles, crosses, and our churches are burned; they ban even Christmas trees and greeting cards in some areas. I wonder what Jesus would think if He walked our world today?

In biblical days, Jesus also suffered much religious persecution. He toured a radius of forty miles around Nazareth preaching His Father’s word and often hid in different lands for His protection. Unlike my wife, who stayed behind a cement wall, His temporary home was in a cave or the middle of a desert. But as in today’s times, very few people believed He was the Messiah, only those who witnessed His miracles. What words or actions does one need to see to prove God really exists? It’s not about color or creed, but receiving the grand prize – eternal life in heaven!

To the families who lost loved ones in the oppression of trusting in God’s greatness, have faith knowing persecution and true Christianity are inseparable. Jesus died on the cross for our sins – even for those who denounced His existence. Missionaries and all other Christians must realize God warns His righteous saints they will be persecuted for believing in Him.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

Have solace for your loved ones, and others who served the Lord, and believe in His name because they will be forever in His presence. If I had to lose my life for someone, let it be for Jesus! It would not be in vain for mercy reigns over ignorance! For two thousand years, believers have fought the war of standing up for God. Many procrastinate changing their life’s sins for the anticipation of the return of Christ Jesus. With the love the Lord placed in my heart, I bleed for those who choose not to concede before they die. Fathers, mothers, sisters and sons, Christ sent you a personal invitation to live in heaven with Him. What are you waiting for? It’s in you! Open your eyes and listen to your soul. Let the books of the Gospel lead your spirit for they are not fiction but the genealogy of your life.

www.danabicksauthor.com

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Two ‘Newbies” in the House: A Comparative Assessment [Video]

AOC and Dan Crenshaw

The U.S. Capitol Building at night

The current crop of freshmen Representatives in the U.S. Congress feature some colorful personalities as well as diverse perspectives. Admittedly, the Democratic newbies have gotten the most attention because of radical statements, policy proposals, and controversies.

However, there is one Republican rookie who has been turning heads, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw. It might be illuminating to assess this GOP rising star in comparison with the Left’s most meteoric House member, N.Y. Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Their Resumes

What do we know about AOC and Crenshaw before they came to Congress? What might serve as a hypothetical resume for each of them?

Inset.Image.1.3.8.2019Let’s start with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. She grew up in the Bronx, New York City as the daughter of a father of Puerto Rican descent who was born in America, and a mother who was born in Puerto Rico.

Her involvement with politics began while she was attending college at Boston University. She became an intern in the immigration office of Senator Ted Kennedy during his final year in the Senate.

What AOC says about that time is illustrative.

I was the only Spanish speaker, and as a result, as basically a kid—a 19-, 20-year-old kid—whenever a frantic call would come into the office because someone is looking for their husband because they have been snatched off the street by ICE, I was the one that had to pick up that phone, …I was the one that had to help that person navigate that system.

AOC graduated from Boston University in 2011 with a degree in international relations and economics. She went back to her home in the Bronx to help support her mother, as her father had passed in 2008.

Her next foray into politics came as an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. She was inspired to run for office during her work traveling the country for Sanders.

AOC’s campaign and election resembled something straight out of a Hollywood script, especially her victory in the Democratic primary. While working as a bartender, she managed to defeat a 10-time incumbent Democrat who had a huge advantage in funding.

What about Representative Crenshaw? His ‘resume’ is slightly different. First off, he is five years older than AOC, having been born in 1984.

Dan CrenshawCrenshaw grew up in Katy, Texas. His mother died when he was a child, and afterward, he lived with his father who worked in the oil industry.

Since his father traveled and lived for long periods of time overseas, Crenshaw spent time living in Ecuador and Columbia as a youth. He became proficient in Spanish during those years, which is perhaps the only characteristic he and AOC share.

Crenshaw graduated from Tufts University in 2006. During his time at Tufts, he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps [ROTC] and became a commissioned officer in the Navy after graduation.

He became a Navy SEAL and served 10 years which included three tours of duty overseas. In 2012 while serving in Afghanistan, he was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device [IED] and lost his right eye as a result.

As a Navy SEAL, he earned two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with valor. He medically retired from military service in 2016

After military service, he went on to obtain a Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2018. During that time he also worked as a legislative assistant for Texas Congressman Pete Sessions.

Crenshaw began his campaign in November of 2017 and had to survive a contentious runoff election in the Republican primary. However, the most interesting incident of the campaign happened just prior to the general election in November of 2018.

Comedian Pete Davidson made a mocking remark about Crenshaw as a joke on the November 3, 2018 episode of Saturday Night Live. The public disapproval of that joke has been credited by some as helping Crenshaw secure victory in the election the following Tuesday.

However, what happened the following Saturday on SNL was remarkable.

Davidson’s sincere apology for his remarks the week before and Crenshaw’s good-natured acceptance of the apology was a refreshing look at the character of both. Moreover, it was an impressive first appearance on the national scene for the newly-elected Representative.

Political Positions

The political positions of AOC and Crenshaw could hardly be farther apart. Ocasio-Cortez is extreme Left-wing Socialist, while Crenshaw is a solidly Conservative Republican.

AOCThe greatest example of AOC’s political aspirations is the now infamous Green New Deal. Her surprising influence in less than 3 months has gathered support for the GND from every declared Democrat candidate for President in 2020.

The most recent estimated cost of that Socialist nightmare was 93 trillion dollars! However, the inconceivable amount has not deterred AOC or her minions.

AOC is also a proponent of abolishing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and basically an open borders status for America.

As might be expected, Crenshaw opposes the ‘Green Dream.’ He has ably stated the reasonable objections to it in many forums.

However, there are some far less publicized positions that Dan Crenshaw has put forth which deserve attention for a fair comparison between the Texas Republican and AOC.

Crenshaw was joined by two other Representatives back in January of this year in proposing a bill to withhold the salaries of Congress, the Vice President, and the President in the event of a government shutdown. Crenshaw stated at the time,

Federal employees should never have to carry the burden caused by a dysfunctional government, …We should have to feel the very real effects of a shutdown, just as our fellow federal employees are forced to do.

Concerning that same issue, Crenshaw also revealed something the Mainstream media, umm… had skipped over.

Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw reported on Twitter that Republicans had a plan to pay federal workers during the shutdown. But that proposal did not pass because all but 6 Democrats voted against it.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw

@RepDanCrenshaw

Big deal that never got reported:

Last week, House GOP voted to pay federal employees their 1st paycheck of 2019, despite shutdown. Only 6 Dems voted with us. It failed.

Dem priority is not paying workers or opening gov’t. It is opposing Trump. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2019/roll043.xml 

59.9K people are talking about this

Border wallThis was while the shutdown was happening. Employees could have received pay during the shutdown itself if this had passed. It will be interesting to see at election time if federal workers remember which party had their backs during the shutdown, and which did not.

Rep. Crenshaw is also a vocal supporter of border security, including a physical barrier aka a ‘border wall,’ and an advocate of President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration.

Public Presence

One factor remains to conclude this assessment. That is the factor of public presence.

Presence refers to the public persona of each person. As national public officials, a large portion of their lives is now subject to media scrutiny. In today’s society, this means the scrutiny of social media, as well as TV and radio coverage.

For example, AOC was recently questioned about real concerns with probable ethics violations and ‘laundering’ or ‘funneling’ money to her boyfriend, through her campaign manager. The violation involved her campaign manager, Saikat Chakrabarti, using a Political Action Committee’s funds to pay AOC’s boyfriend thousands of dollars.

The campaign manager and AOC herself said the boyfriend was not on staff [even though her office had listed him as staff] and the payments were not unethical. However, it was found that the boyfriend also was given a House e-mail account, which the rules state is wrong unless he is actually part of the staff. 

AOC and Ben CrenshawAOC’s excuse was that her boyfriend needed a house.gov email account to have access to her Congressional calendar. Hmm …guess she forgot how to text him about her schedule.

Moreover, she seems to want to be excused from media attention towards her personal life.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired off a tweet suggesting that the media unfairly target her family and love life in their reporting – and I can’t stop laughing. Here’s the tweet:

You know, when I got to DC I was told that it’s considered “off limits” to report on a member’s family, love life, etc. Unsure why that consideration is suspended for me. (Also for those who ask how I learned to handle pressure, try being the only daughter in a Latino household) https://t.co/M2lgHITz1B

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 5, 2019

AOC has apparently not been paying attention to media coverage of late. Especially the mainstream media’s metaphoric ‘body-cavity search’ and automatic condemnation of any family member of President Trump’s household, including his young son, Barron.

How does Rep. Crenshaw present himself in light of media attention? We have already seen the very classy way he responded to Saturday Night Live’s mockery.

Here is another reaction by Crenshaw decrying the Leftmedia, but not for anything targeting him. Instead, he speaks out about the anti-Christian bias of the MSM.

Dan Crenshaw

@DanCrenshawTX

Media blunders this week:
-hardly any coverage of #MarchforLife
-Buzzfeed lies about Cohen case
-slandering Covington Catholic students over false narrative
-slandering Karen Pence for working at Christian school

3 out of 4 are fundamentally anti-Christian. Just last 7 days.

20.9K people are talking about this

The Texas Congressman recently appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and calmly dismantled the hyperbole of the media attacks on President Trump. In response to the leftist claim that Trump is attacking freedom of the press, Crenshaw replied,

How has he done that? The Obama administration had many press members under investigation, Trump has not, so what is the difference here?

Crenshaw is 100% correct about Obama. He actually tried squashing freedom of the press with everything from seizing records to covert surveillance of reporters he didn’t like.

All Trump has done is briefly expel an obnoxious reporter who hogged the microphone from the privileged seat at the White House press briefings. Oh yeah, and he has called the Leftmedia names.

Much remains to be seen concerning both AOC and Crenshaw and their performance as ‘newbies’ in the House. Moreover, since they are both considered rising stars in their respective political circles, they will also be targeted, fairly or not, as defining the policies of their Party.

This analysis is not definitive by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, it can be instructive as to which person is best suited to the role of U.S. Representative that both are occupying now.

In that light, my hope is that we will see more of the likes of Rep. Crenshaw and far less of the likes of AOC in Congress. However, I am not making that prediction, and I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

I also hope and pray that all who would govern would desire the same as Solomon did from God when he became the King of Israel.

Give your servant, therefore, an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people? 1 Kings 3:9 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Melih’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Dimitri Rodriguez’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of RREA Media, Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Charles Edward Miller’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Omar Barcena’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Pamela Carls’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal