by Olalekan Adetayo
(From Biafra Galaxy)
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as reckless, irresponsible and totally condemnable the alleged threat by Mujahedeen Asari-Dokubo to levy war against Nigeria even if President Goodluck Jonathan is defeated even in a free and fair election in 2015.
It said the SSS must act immediately or be damned.
“There is no better test of the fairness, non-partisanship and professionalism of the SSS than this Asari-Dokubo’s threat to levy war on his own country. If Asari-Dokubo is not above the laws of the land, he must be hauled before the SSS, just like the service did to our Deputy National Secretary, to explain his statement,” APC said.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite the attacks by oil militants in the Niger
Delta and the ongoing insurgency by Boko Haram in some parts of the north, Nigeria has not witnessed a clearer and louder call to war than Asari-Dokubo’s senseless vituperation since the country’s civil war ended in 1970.
It said Nigerians are waiting to see what the SSS, which recently detained for many hours the APC’s Deputy National Secretary Nasir El-Rufai over his warning against election rigging in 2015, will do now that an ally of President Jonathan has threatened the very existence of Nigeria, by saying he and his fellow militants would cripple the economy of the country not only in the creeks but also in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
“What on earth gave Asari-Dokubo the confidence to issue threats against a whole nation? If he doesn’t care about elections and democracy, how else could his hero, President Jonathan, have come to power? Does he know the meaning of anarchy? Does he think anyone, no matter how big, is more important than his country or bigger than its constitution?
“When he said President Jonathan ‘must complete the mandatory constitutionally-allowable two terms of eight years’ or the militants will make Nigeria ungovernable, was he aware that even the North that has become his favourite whipping boy did not complete its own eight years before his kinsman became President?
“It is not Asari-Dokubo’s fault. When we warned against the handing over of the nation’s maritime security to a company owned by an ex-militant in 2012, many thought we were crying wolf where none existed. But the threat by an ex-militant to ensure that no vessel will be allowed to enter the nation’s territorial waters unless President Jonathan is re-elected has shown the dangers inherent in such actions,” APC said
The party wondered why President Jonathan, who said his ambition is not worth anyone’s blood, has neither condemned nor call to order his out-of-control kinsmen like Asari-Dokubo, who speak either on his behalf or for his benefit.
Source: Radio Baifra.
On 26th September 2011 in an article titled, ”On Goodluck Jonathan, David and Goliath” I wrote the following-
”A few days ago President Jonathan proclaimed as follows- ‘I am not David, I am not a general, I am not a lion- I will defeat the Goliaths in our land’. These are deep and instructive words yet I do wonder whether Mr. President understands the spiritual and practical implications of what he is saying.
I say this because if he says that he is not a David how can he then possibly slay the Goliaths in the land? If he says that he is not a general how can he be an effective Commander-in-Chief who commands the respect and confidence of his army and his officers? If he says that he is not a lion how can he overwhelm the animals in our jungle that seek to destroy and ravage our land?
Every king worth his salt must have the spirit of the lion and the warrior in him to a certain extent. It is a fundamental pre-qualification for good quality and inspirational leadership and that is what distinguishes the pretender and the usurper from a real king. May the spirit and weakness of the biblical King Ahab not be our President’s portion even though his words seem to have ensnared him. History proves that weak kings and weak leaders always end up pulling down and destroying their own empires and kingdoms simply because they are incapable of providing strong and decisive leadership. Always remember, whether you are a king or a subject, that courage is the greatest of all the virtues. This is wisdom. Would someone please tell our President?”
With the shooting of opposition leaders like Senator Magnus Abe and the killing of some APC youths by policemen in Port Harcourt on January 12th 2014, the attempted murder of the father of Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and the cold blooded slaughter of some people that were with him in Kano on January 7th 2014 by people that are suspected to be agents of the Federal Government, the killing of twenty four people in Borno state by Boko Haram insurgents on January 8th 2014, the shooting and hacking to death of 30 villagers and the burning of 40 houses by fulani gunmen in Shonong village, Plateau state on January 6th 2014, the bombing of a High Court in Port Harcourt by unknown persons a few days ago, the killing of 91 children by Boko Haram in Damatru a few months ago, the slaughter of 200 Nigerian troops by Boko Haram in Borno state a few weeks back, the massacre of 41 school children in Borno state by Boko Haram four months ago, the burning to the ground of 53 churches in Borno state by Boko Haram in 2013, the mass murder of no less than 7000 thousand Nigerians by Boko Haram in the last 3 years, the burning to the ground of an army barracks with it’s attendant slaughter of the family members of army officers and military personnel in Bama in December 2013 and the raging war that is going on in the north-eastern part of our country between Boko Haram and our military today those words and that counsel that was offered two years ago seem even more relevant now than they were even then.
I believe that the carnage that we are witnessing in our country today has come as a direct result of the manifestation of weakness at the top. When a President tells the world that Boko Haram are his ”siblings” whom he ”cannot move against”, as he did earlier this year, he is asking for trouble. When a President keeps offering Boko Haram amnesty even when they kept rejecting it and whilst they were murdering his people, as he has been doing for the last three years, he is asking for trouble. When a President installs and supports a party National Chairman, by the name of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who describes Boko Haram as ”freedom fighters”, as he did earlier this year, he is asking for trouble.
When a President announces to the world that he is ”not a lion or a David”, as he did approximately two years ago, no-one should be surprised when his people are killed like flies before his very eyes. May God bring us a real leader that can save our nation and may He take away this one who feels no pain and has no empathy when Nigerian blood, nay even the blood of innocent children, is shed with impunity. Under the tenure of our ”lamb” President more innocent Nigerians have been slaughtered by terrorists than at any other time in the history of our country except during the civil war.
What a mess and what a record. I continue to ponder about one thing though- would the President have been so unperturbed and detached from the whole thing if the children that were killed in their school just a few weeks ago had been from his Niger Delta area. It appears to me that simply because those kids were northerners this President just ”doesn’t give a damn”. What a tragedy. Whether christian or muslim, northern or southern these are only children and they are NIGERIAN children each of whom is entitled to the full protection of the Nigerian state. I have said it before and I shall say it again, Nigeria has become an abattoir of human flesh and blood under the tenure of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and all those who support him should bury their heads in shame. The blood of all those innocent people is on his hands because he swore to an oath before God and the Nigerian people to protect them from such evil.
Permit me to make a painful observation here. I was thoroughly appalled about the fact that when our President was asked about the latest round of killings during his live ”Presidential Media Chat” programme a few months ago he not only told a lie to the world by claiming that only ”21 or 22 students were killed” at a time when the BBC and CNN had confirmed that at least 45 bodies had been found (almost 100 were to be discovered later) but he also failed to express his condolences to the families of those that had lost their loved ones. He made the same omission when he failed to commiserate with or express his condolences to the families of the 200 soldiers that were killed in Borno state a few weeks back whilst fighting Boko Haram simply because they ran out of bullets during the course of the battle.
By way of contrast not only was he quick to offer his condolences to the government and people of Kenya for the terrible carnage that was inflicted on them by Al Shabab just one day before when 68 people were killed at a Nairobi shopping mall but he was also quick to offer the Kenyan government military assistance. I guess that to him Nigerian blood is not as expensive or as important as foreign blood.
If President Uhuru Kenyatta ever decides to accept his offer let us hope that our President will provide enough bullets and ammunition to the soldiers that he will send. Our boys are deeply courageous fighters and they certainly deserve that much. They also deserve to have a Commander in Chief that inspires them, that watches their back, that truly cares and that gives them the very best.
The question must be asked – does our President have any balls? And if he does just how big are they? Is he really a man? Does he have what it takes to fight a war against terror or is it that there is more to this than meets the eye? Is there a sinister plan to ensure that elections do not hold in some parts of the north-east in 2015 given the fact that those areas are very hostile to the suggestion that Jonathan should return to power that year? Is this whole thing planned and contrived or is it a case of chronic incompetence, ineptitude and weakness? Does Jonathan believe that it is in his interest for the north to burn and for northern blood to be spilt? Is the mindset of those that are pulling the strings of the view that since the problem has been (to use the President’s own words in his last media chat) ”localised” and ”contained in a certain area” the government can sit back and watch the locals slaughter themselves whilst they continue to drink champagne and kai-kai in the Villa? If that is the case has it not occurred to them that their fellow Nigerians live in those areas where the problem has supposedly been ”localised” and is the blood of those fellow Nigerians not red as well? Are they less Nigerian because of where they were born and who they are? Are the people that live in the villages and countryside not as important as those who live in the towns and cities?
Whatever is really going on God sees all and anything that is not of Him will surely fail. If it is nothing but weakness and incompetence that has resulted in this unprecedented carnage the President will answer before God for violating his solemn oath to protect the Nigerian people from enemies within and from enemies without. If it is a conspiracy to encourage and create turmoil and chaos in the north just to ensure that they are excluded from the vote in 2015, both Jonathan himself and Nigeria as a whole will reap the consequences. It is worth noting that that is precisely what happened in Mali in the elections that took place before the north was taken over by the islamists and it led to a full scale civil war.
Any attempt to exclude any part of this country from participating in the elections in 2015 under the guise of lack of security or Boko Haram will result in the same thing with catastrophic consequences for Nigeria. Yet as Napolean Bonaparte once said, ”we must never account to conspiracy what can easily be explained away by incompetence”. It is more likely than not that the situation that is unfolding in the north-east and the feeble fight that our government is putting up against Boko Haram over there is down to Jonathan’s weakness and nothing more. So when asked the question is our President capable of fighting the war against terror my answer would be that I am afraid that I doubt it very much. He just doesn’t have it in him. As the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair once said about John Major, his predecessor in office, he is just ”weak, weak, weak”.
I am a great believer in strong government and I am one of those that has always believed that President Olusegun Obasanjo was one of the most effective leaders that we have ever had in this country. Love him or hate him one thing is clear- not under Obasanjo’s watch would 7000 thousand innocent Nigerians be massacred at will in the space of just two years by a bunch of murderous and heartless terrorists. He would have known exactly what to do and how to do it to put a stop to such callous lawlessness and anarchy right from the start. Equally significant is the fact that such was his love for Nigeria that regardless of the region, ethnic group or religious faith that the victims came from, espoused or belonged to, his response to the terrorists would have been swift, decisive and utterly ruthless. He would have had Boko Haram in ”shock and awe” and the whole world would have marveled at it. This is because in Obasanjo we had a President who not only had balls but who also had the courage, heart and guts to match them.
The greatest error that we as a people ever made and the worst tragedy and misfortune that has ever befallen us as a nation is the fact that a lamb ended up taking a throne that was designed and prepared for a lion. The unfortunate consequences of that tragic error and misfortune are there for all to see. The shedding of the blood of even the youngest, the most innocent and the most vulnerable in our society by Boko Haram on a daily basis is an eloquent testimony to that unsavoury fact.
The fact of the matter is that Nigeria is in dire need of a real ”Asiwaju” to lead her. She needs a man with the spirit of the ”Jagaban”- a ”last man standing” who has an iron will and who knows no fear. She needs an ”Ebora” and a ”Balogun” all rolled into one who is ready to confront evil, defend our nation, protect our people and crush the enemy. Sadly we do not have that today. Instead what we have is what the Yoruba describe as an ”olori oko tio lepon”. Roughly translated that means ”a President without balls”. May the Lord take the leadership of this nation away from the gutless eunuch and give it to a lion king.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters
You may think me extreme or alarmist (and I’m not so thick-skinned that this won’t bother me), but I feel less free as an American today than I did before 2008, and this both frightens and grieves me. What troubles me even more, however, is that I am convinced Americans will once more believe the false promises and lies they will be told in the next election cycle—and the one after—so that we will once again vote away another batch of our freedoms.
You don’t believe me when I say we are losing our freedoms? What little we’re consciously aware of may seem small and negligible—even a small price to pay for things like health care and domestic safety—but over time it adds up. Most of us don’t realize how much we’ve already lost. Lately I’ve been hearing firsthand stories I can’t share because they were told to me in confidence. Trust me when I say that ominous trends are underway.
Maybe all of this is just my prophetic nature that lets me feel the future coming. Maybe you’ll think I’m just wrong. But agree with me or not, this is a season for concentrated prayer. On that point I think we can all agree. At the very least, we in the body of Christ need more time to prepare for what must inevitably unfold. We desperately need an awakening and a turning toward holiness exercised in love and grace, and we need men and women of God in leadership both in and out of the church who will lead us there.
It would be a mistake to blame this on a sinister government. The root of the problem lies in the rapid disintegration of our culture of which our government is only a reflection. Historically, it seems to me that a culture can descend into lawlessness and evil very quickly but to develop a culture that conditions its people for the good takes a very long time. For example, although the seeds of evil were sown at the end of the First World War, Germany, an educated and civilized nation, moved from democracy to dictatorship and genocide in the space of just five to six years. Had the victorious allies shown mercy and not exacted reparations, it might have been a different story, but once evil took root, it didn’t take long to wreak havoc on the whole world.
We adopted slavery in the U.S. almost from the beginning of colonization. That evil institution established itself very quickly and began to warp the thinking of an entire people toward non-white races, blinding Americans to the application of the very principles of liberty and faith on which the nation was ultimately founded. Later, after decades of debate and conflict over abolition, we fought the Civil War, the bloodiest in our history, and freed the slaves—but then another hundred years passed before we could establish civil rights for the descendants of the slaves we freed. Wickedness took root very quickly and became a culture. It has taken a century and a half to begin to overcome the evil of the cultural attitudes slavery spawned and create a culture of equality and respect. And we have yet a long way to go! Evil comes as quickly as a momentary wrong decision—witness Eve in the Garden of Eden—but establishing the good takes time.
Western culture, especially in America, has deteriorated very quickly on a number of fronts in less than a lifetime, and it will take time to repair it, assuming we still can. The moorings that bound us to solid Judeo-Christian morality and integrity have largely been severed. The evidence? Divorce as a percentage of all marriages has increased from 4 percent to 51 percent since my childhood in the 1950s, with the resulting devastation to children raised in broken homes. For the first time in our history, more than half of all babies born in the U.S. are now born out of wedlock. Sexual abuse runs rampant. Our prisons have become overcrowded as the number of inmates has exploded. Drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions. We are crumbling as a nation.
All of this is reflected in our political situation in the laws and executive orders that government officials feel they must pass and the actions they take. When a self-centered population loses its sense of godly morality and accountability, rejecting the idea that a righteous God hands down absolutes to ensure the well-being of society and everyone in it, then government steps in to fill the vacuum with force and control to protect us from ourselves. Freedoms are lost when morality becomes relative to the feelings of the individual and when the culture rejects the concept of a holy God who judges evil.
Our Congress and our president have clearly failed us, even lied to us in order to manipulate our perceptions to get their way, but they are not the root of our problems. They merely reflect what we all have fallen into.
Where is the selflessness of the cross and the loving sacrifice it represents? Where is godly morality that ensures the loving sanctity of marriage, family and society as a whole? Where are the reconcilers who understand we have been given the ministry of reconciliation? Where are the Elijahs with the courage to confront evil and idolatry but to do it with genuine love?
Pray for the rise of a new generation of righteous leaders both in and out of the church who really get it while there is still time to prepare. The days are crucial, and the clock is ticking. We can shine gloriously as lights in the growing darkness or we can find ourselves overwhelmed by it. Let us choose the glory!
The staunch Christian and fiscal conservative said Monday he plans to retire. That sets up an opening for fellow Republican and longtime Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott in next year’s GOP primary.
The 63-year-old Perry ran for president in 2011. He’s best known in that campaign for uttering “Oops” during a debate after forgetting the third of three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate if elected.
Before that, Perry stirred controversy by suggesting Texas could secede from the U.S., and for shooting a coyote with a concealed handgun while jogging.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
2 Timothy 2:1-8
Memorial Day is a wonderful time of the year for many reasons. It is the start of the summer time, and many people know that vacation time is not far off. For others it is a time to get with the family for a cookout and enjoy their fellowship. For others it is a three-day weekend, which is always nice to a weary worker. Many cities have Memorial Day parades to honor their veterans. But the greatest reason that we celebrate memorial day is that we remember, as the choir and singers have so beautifully portrayed in music this morning, our veteran’s who have gone on to be with the Lord, and to honor those veterans who have sacrificed for our great country that are with us today!
Memorial Day started as decoration day, in honor of the veterans who had passed away in the civil war. It has since come to be called “Memorial Day” because we remember all the veterans from all of the wars that they have been involved with.
* Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.
* By 1890 it was recognized by all of the Northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May, passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
One marine wrote the following:
It’s the soldier, not the reporter who has given us
Freedom of the Press.
It’s the soldier, not the poet, who has given us
Freedom of Speech.
It’s the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the
Freedom to Demonstrate.
It’s the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the
Right to a Fair Trial.
It’s the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and
whose coffin is draped by …
WASHINGTON (AP) — Letters and diaries saved for 150 years from those who lived through the Civil War offer a new glimpse at the arguments that split the nation then and some of the festering debates that survive today.
The Library of Congress, which holds the largest collection of Civil War documents, pulled 200 items from its holdings to reveal both private and public thoughts from dozens of famous and ordinary citizens who lived in the North and the South. Many are being shown for the first time.
Robert E. Lee, for one, was grappling with divided federal and state allegiances. He believed his greater allegiance was to his native Virginia, as he wrote to a friend about resigning his U.S. Army commission.
“Sympathizing with you in the troubles that are pressing so heavily upon our beloved country & entirely agreeing with you in your notions of allegiance, I have been unable to make up my mind to raise my hand against my native state, my relatives, my children & my home,” he wrote in 1861. “I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army.”
Lee’s handwritten letter is among dozens of writings from individuals who experienced the war. They are featured in the new exhibit “The Civil War in America” at the library in Washington until June 2013. Their voices also are being heard again in a new blog created for the exhibition.
For a limited time in 2013, the extensive display will feature the original draft of President Abraham Lincoln‘s preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and rarely shown copies of the Gettysburg Address.
Beyond the generals and famous battles, though, curators set out to tell a broader story about what Lincoln called “a people’s contest.”
“This is a war that trickled down into almost every home,” said Civil War manuscript specialistMichelle Krowl. “Even people who may seem very far removed from the war are going to be impacted on some level. So it’s a very human story.”
Curators laid out a chronological journey from before the first shots were fired to the deep scars soldiers brought home in the end.
While some still debate the root causes of the war, for Benjamin Tucker Tanner in 1860, the cause was clear, as he wrote from South Carolina in his diary.
“The country seems to be bordering on a civil war all on account of slavery,” wrote the future minister. “I pray God to rule and overrule all to his own glory and the good of man.”
A personal letter from Mary Todd Lincoln in 1862 was recently acquired by the library and is being publicly displayed for the first time.
In the handwritten note on stationery with a black border, Mary Lincoln reveals her deep grief over the death of her son Willie months earlier. Krowl said Mary Lincoln’s grief is also evident in the new movie, “Lincoln.”
“When you read this letter … you just get a palpable feeling of how in the depth that she’s been and she’s now finally coming out of her grief, at least to resume public affairs,” Krowl said.
All the documents in the exhibit are original. They include a massive map Gen. Stonewall Jackson commissioned of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to prepare for a major campaign.
The library also is displaying personal items from Lincoln, including the contents of his pockets on the night he was assassinated, and the pocket diary of Clara Barton who would constantly record details about soldiers she met and would later create the Bureau of Missing Soldiers.
Some of the closing words come from soldiers who lost their right arms or hands in battle and had to learn to write left-handed. They joined a left-handed penmanship contest and shared their stories.
“I think this exhibition will have a lot of resonance for people,” said exhibit director Cheryl Regan. “Certainly soldiers returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are going to be incredibly moved by these stories.”
Civil War in America: http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/civil-war-in-america/
Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat
Source: YAHOO NEWS.
By BRETT ZONGKER | Associated Press
1024px-Ron_Paul_WRLCThe libertarian politician made the commentson his official House website.
The latest secession controversy was started by a series of petitions on a White House website called We the People. They asked the Obama administration to comment on the possible secession of Texas, Louisiana, and other states after the president defeated Mitt Romney earlier this month.
The Texas petition received about 115,000 online signatures as of Tuesday morning, with a number of people not living in Texas signing up.
Paul’s comments were picked up on political websites on Monday night.
“While I wouldn’t hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union,” Paul said.
“Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War. On the contrary; the principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding. Clearly Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit as a last resort,” he added.
“Keep in mind that the first and third paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplate the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical.Do we have a ‘government without limitation of powers’ yet? The Federal government kept the Union together through violence and force in the Civil War, but did might really make right?” Paul added.
Legally, there is little evidence that any secessionist movement would have a chance of winning a legal challenge.
Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston outlined the issue last week for us.
“No state, however frustrated some of its citizens may be with the present state of government in America, is going to be able to leave the Union and go its own way. That is one of the most firmly settled issues on the meaning of the Constitution,” Denniston said.
The issue was settled by the Supreme Court in the case of Texas v. White in 1869, and the only theoretical path to secession would be the passage of a constitutional amendment.
“To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one Nation, indivisible.”) Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit,” Scalia said.
Paul didn’t bring up the issue of slavery in the Civil War on his official House website, but he has discussed it in the past.
Recent Constitution Daily Stories
In 2007, Paul told “Meet The Press” said that the North should have bought the slaves living in the South and freed them, rather than pursue a war.
“Every other country in the world got rid of slavery without a Civil War,” Paul told Tim Russert.
“It really wasn’t the issue of why the war was fought in my estimation,” he said.
Paul said that Abraham Lincoln, like Alexander Hamilton, believed that central government should benefit the industrial base in the North, along with a central banking system.
“When they saw this opportunity, they used the issue of slavery to precipitate the war and literally cancel out the whole concept of individual choice,” he said.
Source: YAHOO NEWS.
By NCC Staff | National Constitution Center
Jeb Stuart was the Civil War’s version of a B-2 Stealth Bomber. This gutsy West Point grad had the uncanny ability to infiltrate enemy lines without being detected. He was nicknamed “the eyes of the army” and was unquestionably General Robert E. Lee’s most trusted soldier.
During the June, 1862 defense of Richmond, General Lee sent Stuart to scout and assess the right flank of General McClelland’s Federal Army. Stuart not only achieved his mission but rode completely around McClelland’s troops to deliver a comprehensive report to Lee.
In his next campaign Stuart was ordered to infiltrate enemy lines and to destroy a large cachet of Union weapons and supplies. But, while there, Stuart confiscated secret documents showing the strength and position of other Federal forces.
Stuart’s bravery and extraordinary skill as an intelligence officer were unparalleled in Civil War battles. And, with each mission, Stuart would submit his report to Lee, signed “Yours to count on, Jeb Stuart.”
In every battle and in every war there are those who can be counted on. Many wear the uniform but only a handful stand out as heroes—those who go beyond the call of duty. And those are a rare breed, indeed.
The church produces the same kind of heroes from its battlefields. They, too, are the ones who accept the road less traveled. They’re uncommon men and women “of whom the world was [and is] not worthy.” They’re champions who can be counted on.
• In the 3rd Century, church theologian Origen was the target of vicious attacks by the vile Greek Emperor Decius, who hoped to discredit Origen’s character and teaching with accusations of immorality. To further safeguard his testimony Origen castrated himself in order to protect the gospel from any possible scandal.
• In the 4th Century, Ambrose led the church in its fight for survival against hostile heretics. In a daring move he challenged the Catholic Emperor Theodosius to do public penance for his slaughter of seven thousand lives at the Thessalonican circus, insisting that the Emperor may be “within the church, but not over the church.” His bold move powerfully impressed a local pagan leader, a young man named Augustine. All because Ambrose could be counted on.
• In the 5th Century, John Chrysostom, the leading biblical expositor of his day, was kidnapped and carted off to Constantinople because the Roman hierarchy determined he should be their Archbishop. Rather than protest his forced promotion Chrysostom preached a painfully direct message to the city’s royalty. Soon he was banished by the emperor’s wife, Eudosia, for insulting her. He had the gall to call her a sinner.
Every century has those whom the Savior can count on. Francis of Assisi walked away from wealth in order to kiss the hands of lepers. John Knox endured the ridicule of Mary Queen of Scots in his effort to save Scotland. Dietrich Bonhoeffer turned his silent pulpit into a megaphone in Nazi Germany before suffering Hitler’s wrath.
It’s a frightening world we minister to. The scoreboard rarely shows us in the lead. There’s a great temptation to take the easy way out, to slow down, or water down, or calm down.
But, our assignment has never changed: “To fight the good fight, to finish the course, to keep the faith.” To be able to say to our Master, “Yours to count on, Lord!”
by Ron Walters
Ron Walters Senior Vice President Ministry Relations
© Copyright 2012 by Ron Walters
The last Monday in May is the day when the United States celebrates Memorial Day. This holiday was originally called Decoration Day due to the practice of decorating graves of soldiers. It is a day of remembrance for those who have died serving America.
On May 5, 1868 General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially declared Memorial Day. It was first observed later that month on May 30th when the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated at Arlington National Cemetery.
The reason why President Johnson declared Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day was because it was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. The Southern states that seceded to start the Civil War refused to acknowledge the holiday until after World War I. That was because until that point the holiday honored only those who fought and died in the Civil War.
In 1971 Congress put into law that the holiday would be celebrated on the last Monday in May. This was done in order to ensure a three-day weekend holiday.
While it was a tradition in the past for many cities to hold Memorial Day parades, today the number of those parades are dwindling. It is important to remember that on Memorial Day, we honor those who died serving our country and protecting our freedoms.
By Martin Kelly.