In defense of civil, respectful discourse and free speech: 

The attacks on the faith and opinions of Americans and others across the world is beyond imagination. HGTV drops the Benham brothers and Sun Trust Bank follows up by pulling  their bank- owned properties simply because of their pro-life and gay marriage views.

(At this writing, Suntrust has reversed their outrageous decision) Incidences are increasing where teachers in Elementary and Middle school give failing grades if students submit papers  including  mention of Jesus. Powerful women on the world’s stage, like Condeleeza Rice, former Secretary of State and France’s Christine Lagarde, Director of International Monetary Fund, are prohibited from speaking at major universities.   

Thankfully, Conservatives and Christians are standing for our free speech rights. But this is America; why should there even be attacks against free speech?  What has happened to our belief in statements like: 

  “I disapprove of what you saybut I will defend to the death your right to say it,” Evelyn  Beatrice Hall  (In her book on Voltaire)

 “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”  George Orwell

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”   Benjamin Franklin, Silence Dogood, The Busy-Body, and Early Writings

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” [Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950]”  Harry S. Truman 

If you hold an opinion different from others, either live with the disagreement or offer civil discourse to persuade but don’t heap tyranny upon those who disagree with you. Paul Samuels 2014

Posted in Thoughts on God | Leave a comment

Books by Paul Samuels: Expressions of Life and Where is Christmas?

This gallery contains 3 photos.

EXPRESSIONS OF LIFE We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes words can paint a thousand pictures. I hope you’ll find that to be true in Expressions of Life.  If you are like me, I … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

Gabriel Latner’s Cambridge debate on Israel

You may have already seen the remarkable speech below, which was presented by Gabriel Latner, a 19-year-old Cambridge student, at a debate of the prestigious university’s debating society.  If you have not, I cannot urge you strongly enough to read it.    

The Cambridge debate centered on the motion that “Israel is a rogue state.” It was proposed by England’s Lauren Booth, an extreme opponent of Israel who works for Tehran’s state-run global TV channel, and who recently converted to Islam on a visit to Iran.  Her side of the debate was joined by Mark McDonald, founder of the Labor Friends of Palestine, and Mr. Latner. 

The Irish Independent has called Mr. Latner’s speech “the most brilliantly audacious defence of Israel since Moses parted the Red Sea.”

  Israel is a Rogue State

Gabriel Latner

This is a war of ideals, and the other speakers here tonight are rightfully, idealists. I’m not. I’m a realist. I’m here to win. I have a single goal this evening — to have at least a plurality of you walk out of the “Aye” door.

I face a singular challenge — most, if not all, of you have already made up your minds. This issue is too polarizing for the vast majority of you not to already have a set opinion. I’d be willing to bet that half of you strongly support the motion, and half of you strongly oppose it. 

I want to win, and we’re destined for a tie. I’m tempted to do what my fellow speakers are going to do — simply rehash every bad thing the Israeli government has ever done in an attempt to satisfy those of you who agree with them. And perhaps they’ll even guilt one of you rare undecided into voting for the proposition, or more accurately, against Israel.

It would be so easy to twist the meaning and significance of international “laws” to make Israel look like a criminal state. But that’s been done to death.

It would be easier still to play to your sympathy, with personalized stories of Palestinian suffering. And they can give very eloquent speeches on those issues.

But the truth is, that treating people badly, whether they’re your citizens or an occupied nation, does not make a state “rogue.” If it did, Canada, the U.S., and Australia would all be rogue states based on how they treat their indigenous populations. Britain’s treatment of the Irish would easily qualify them to wear this sobriquet. These arguments, while emotionally satisfying, lack intellectual rigor.

More importantly, I just don’t think we can win with those arguments. It won’t change the numbers. Half of you will agree with them, half of you won’t. So I’m going to try something different, something a little unorthodox.

I’m going to try and convince the die-hard Zionists and Israel supporters here tonight, to vote for the proposition. By the end of my speech I will have presented five pro-Israel arguments that show Israel is, if not a “rogue state,” than at least “roguish.”

Let me be clear. I will not be arguing that Israel is “bad.” I will not be arguing that it doesn’t deserve to exist. I won’t be arguing that it behaves worse than every other country. I will only be arguing that Israel is “rogue.”

The word “rogue” has come to have exceptionally damning connotations. But the word itself is value-neutral. The Oxford English Dictionary defines rogue as “aberrant, anomalous; misplaced, occurring (esp. in isolation) at an unexpected place or time,” while a dictionary from a far greater institution gives this definition: “behaving in ways that are not expected or not normal, often in a destructive way.”

These definitions, and others, center on the idea of anomaly — the unexpected or uncommon. Using this definition, a rogue state is one that acts in an unexpected, uncommon or aberrant manner. A state that behaves exactly like Israel.

The first argument is statistical. The fact that Israel is a Jewish state alone makes it anomalous enough to be dubbed a rogue state: There are 195 countries in the world. Some are Christian, some Muslim, some are secular. Israel is the only country in the world that is Jewish. Or, to speak mathmo for a moment, the chance of any randomly chosen state being Jewish is 0.0051%. In comparison the chance of a UK lotto ticket winning at least £10 is 0.017% — more than twice as likely. Israel’s Jewishness is a statistical aberration.

The second argument concerns Israel’s humanitarianism, in particular, Israel’s response to a refugee crisis. Not the Palestinian refugee crisis — for I am sure that the other speakers will cover that — but the issue of Darfurian refugees. Everyone knows that what happened and is still happening in Darfur is genocide, whether or not the UN and the Arab League will call it such. (I actually hoped that Mr. Massih would be able to speak about — he’s actually somewhat of an expert on the crisis in Darfur, in fact, it’s his expertise that has called him away to represent the former dictator of Sudan while he is being investigated by the ICC.)

There has been a mass exodus from Darfur as the oppressed seek safety. They have not had much luck. Many have gone north to Egypt — where they are treated despicably. The brave make a run through the desert in a bid to make it to Israel. Not only do they face the natural threats of the Sinai, they are also used for target practice by the Egyptian soldiers patrolling the border. Why would they take the risk?

Because in Israel they are treated with compassion — they are treated as the refugees that they are – and perhaps Israel’s cultural memory of genocide is to blame. The Israeli government has even gone so far as to grant several hundred Darfurian refugees citizenship. This alone sets Israel apart from the rest of the world.

But the real point of distinction is this: The IDF sends out soldiers and medics to patrol the Egyptian border. They are sent looking for refugees attempting to cross into Israel. Not to send them back into Egypt, but to save them from dehydration, heat exhaustion, and Egyptian bullets.

Compare that to the U.S.’s reaction to illegal immigration across their border with Mexico. The American government has arrested private individuals for giving water to border crossers who were dying of thirst — and here the Israeli government is sending out its soldiers to save illegal immigrants. To call that sort of behaviour anomalous is an understatement.

My third argument is that the Israeli government engages in an activity which the rest of the world shuns — it negotiates with terrorists. Forget the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, a man who died with blood all over his hands — they’re in the process of negotiating with terrorists as we speak. Yasser Abed Rabbo is one of the lead PLO negotiators that has been sent to the peace talks with Israel. Abed Rabbo also used to be a leader of the PFLP — an organisation of “freedom fighters” that, under Abed Rabbo’s leadership, engaged in such freedom-promoting activities as killing 22 Israeli high school students.

And the Israeli government is sending delegates to sit at a table with this man, and talk about peace. And the world applauds. You would never see the Spanish government in peace talks with the leaders of the ETA — the British government would never negotiate with Thomas Murphy. And if President Obama were to sit down and talk about peace with Osama Bin Laden, the world would view this as insanity. But Israel can do the exact same thing — and earn international praise in the process. That is the dictionary definition of rogue — behaving in a way that is unexpected, or not normal.

Another part of the dictionary definition is behaviour or activity “occurring at an unexpected place or time.” When you compare Israel to its regional neighbours, it becomes clear just how roguish Israel is. And here is the fourth argument: Israel has a better human rights record than any of its neighbours. At no point in history, has there ever been a liberal democratic state in the Middle East — except for Israel. Of all the countries in the Middle East, Israel is the only one where the LGBT community enjoys even a small measure of equality.

In Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and Syria, homosexual conduct is punishable by flogging, imprisonment, or both. But homosexuals there get off pretty lightly compared to their counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, who are put to death. Israeli homosexuals can adopt, openly serve in the army, enter civil unions, and are protected by exceptionally strongly worded ant-discrimination legislation. Beats a death sentence. In fact, it beats America.

Israel’s protection of its citizens’ civil liberties has earned international recognition. Freedom House is an NGO that releases an annual report on democracy and civil liberties in each of the 195 countries in the world. It ranks each country as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free.”  In the Middle East, Israel is the only country that has earned designation as a “free” country. Not surprising given the level of freedom afforded to citizens in, say, Lebanon — a country designated “partly free,” where there are laws against reporters criticizing not only the Lebanese government, but the Syrian regime as well. I’m hoping Ms. Booth will speak about this, given her experience working as a “journalist” for Iran.

Iran is a country given the rating of “not free,” putting it alongside China, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Myanmar. In Iran, as Ms. Booth I hoped would have said in her speech, there is a special “Press Court” which prosecutes journalists for such heinous offences as criticizing the Ayatollah, reporting on stories damaging the “foundations of the Islamic republic,” using “suspicious (i.e., Western) sources,” or insulting Islam. Iran is the world leader in terms of jailed journalists, with 39 reporters (that we know of) in prison as of 2009. They also kicked out almost every Western journalist during the 2009 election. (I don’t know if Ms Booth was affected by that.)

I guess we can’t really expect more from a theocracy. Which is what most countries in the Middle East are. Theocracies and autocracies. But Israel is the sole, the only, the rogue, democracy. Out of every country in the Middle East, only in Israel do anti-government protests and reporting go unquashed and uncensored.

I have one final argument — the last nail in the opposition’s coffin — and it’s sitting right across the aisle. Mr. Ran Gidor’s presence here is the all evidence any of us should need to confidently call Israel a rogue state. For those of you who have never heard of him, Mr. Gidor is a political counsellor attached to Israel’s embassy in London. He’s the guy the Israeli government sent to represent them at the UN. He knows what he’s doing. And he’s here tonight. And it’s incredible.

Consider, for a moment, what his presence here means. The Israeli government has signed off, to allow one of their senior diplomatic representatives to participate in a debate on their very legitimacy. That’s remarkable.

Do you think for a minute, that any other country would do the same? If the Yale University Debating Society were to have a debate where the motion was “This house believes Britain is a racist, totalitarian state that has done irrevocable harm to the peoples of the world,” that Britain would allow any of its officials to participate? No.

Would China participate in a debate about the status of Taiwan? Never.

And there is no chance in hell that an American government official would ever be permitted to argue in a debate concerning its treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

But Israel has sent Mr. Ran Gidor to argue tonight against a “journalist”-cum-reality TV star, and myself, a 19-year-old law student who is entirely unqualified to speak on the issue at hand.

Every government in the world should be laughing at Israel right now — because it forgot Rule No. 1. You never add credence to crackpots by engaging with them. It’s the same reason you won’t see Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins debate David Icke. But Israel is doing precisely that. Once again, behaving in a way that is unexpected, or not normal. Behaving like a rogue state.

That’s five arguments that have been directed at the supporters of Israel. But I have a minute or two left. And here’s an argument for all of you – Israel wilfully and forcefully disregards international law. In 1981 Israel destroyed Osirak — Sadam Hussein’s nuclear bomb lab. Every government in the world knew that Hussein was building a bomb. And they did nothing. Except for Israel. Yes, in doing so they broke international law and custom. But they also saved us all from a nuclear Iraq.

That rogue action should earn Israel a place of respect in the eyes of all freedom-loving peoples. But it hasn’t. But tonight, while you listen to us prattle on, I want you to remember something: while you’re here, Khomeini’s Iran is working towards the Bomb. And if you’re honest with yourself, you know that Israel is the only country that can, and will, do something about it. Israel will, out of necessity, act in a way that is the not the norm, and you’d better hope that they do it in a destructive manner. Any sane person would rather a rogue Israel than a Nuclear Iran. Except Ms. Booth.

 

http://www.unwatch.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=bdKKISNqEmG&b=1285603&ct=8886641&notoc=1

The author, a Cambridge University law student, will be a 2011 intern with UN Watch. Text edited for publication from the original.

Posted in Thoughts on God | Leave a comment

The True history of The Democratic Party and African Americans by WallBuilders Research

The True history of The Democratic Party and African Americans by WallBuilders Research

 

Did you know that:

1) When the Democrat Party first took control of Congress in 1820, it passed the Missouri Compromise, reversing the first Congress’ policy against slavery in any federally-held territory.

In 1850, Democrats in Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, stipulating that if a black were even accused of being an escaped slave that he then lost the constitutional right to habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the right to an attorney.

2) In 1854, Democrats in Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing the extension of slavery into new anti-slavery federal territories, thereby causing slavery to reach from Florida to Idaho.

 

3) At that time, a number of anti-slavery Democrats, led by Democrat U. S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, left the Democrat Party to start the new anti-slavery Republican Party.

4) In 1856, Republicans issued their first national Party Platform; it had only 9 planks, but 6 of them called for abolition, civil rights, and equality for blacks.

5) In 1857, a Democratically-controlled Supreme Court issued the Dred Scott decision, declaring that blacks were property and had no rights which any white man was bound to respect.

6) The 1860 Democrat Platform not only praised the Dred Scott decision but to encourage citizens to vote Democrat, copies of the Dred Scott decision were given out along with copies of the Democrat Platform

7) In 1860, Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected President, and Republicans also gained control of the House and Senate.

8) Over the next 16 years, Republicans passed nearly two-dozen civil rights laws giving blacks constitutional full equality at the federaland state governments. In 1876, Republicans lost their full control of Congress to Democrats, and it was 89 years before another civil rights law was passed. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was passed, finally abolishing slavery; and of the 118 Republicans in Congress, all of them (100%) voted to end slavery, but of the 74 Democrats in Congress, only 19 (or just 26%) voted to end slavery.

9) In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, securing equal rights for blacks; of the 166 Republicans in Congress, 95% voted for that Amendment, but of the 42 Democrats in Congress, not a single one (0%) voted for civil rights for blacks.

10) In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment was passed, guaranteeing blacks the right to vote in all elections; of the 174 Republicans in Congress, 81% voted for that amendment, but of the 56 Democrats in Congress, not a single one – 0% – supported voting rights for blacks.

11) At the federal level, the first 23 black Americans elected to Congress were all republicans, as were the first 3 black U. S. Senators.

12) 2 At the state level, the first 190 black legislators elected in South Carolina were all Republicans

13) – as were the first 42 black legislators in Texas,

14) 127 in Louisiana,

15) 46 in Virginia,

16) 30 in Florida,

17) 112 in Mississippi,

18) 41 in Georgia,

19) 30 in North Carolina,

20) 103 in Alabama,

21) etc.The first black governor of Louisiana was a republican.

22) The Republican Party of Texas was started on July 4, 1867, by 150 blacks and 20 whites;

23) two of the first three state chairmen of the Texas Republican Party were blacks.

24) In 1866, the Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to regain control of the government

from Republicans and blacks;

25) and between 1882 and 1964, some 4,743 individuals were lynched, including 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites.

26) In 1871, Congress passed a law to punish Ku Klux Klan violence; not a single Democrat voted for that bill.

27) In 1872, Congress passed a law opening education for blacks; only 13% of Democrats voted for that bill.

28) In 1875, Congress passed a law banning discrimination and segregation; not a single Democrat voted for it.

29) In the 1860s and 1870s, Democrats called Republicans “Radicals” because the Republican Party allowed blacks to vote and participate in the political process.

30) In 1884, the first black presided over a national political convention – the RepublicanNational Convention in Chicago.

31) Blacks have presided over three National Republican Conventions

32) but none has presided over any Democrat National Convention, and only

two have co- or vice-chaired a Democrat National Convention.

33) Frederick Douglass was appointed to office by four Republican Presidents but removed from office by a Democrat President.

34) In 1892, Democrats won the presidency and gained full control of Congress; by 1894, they had repealed the civil rights laws, including those prohibiting Klan violence and protecting black voting.

35) After Democrats regained control of the federal and state governments in the 1880s, they instituted“white-only” primaries to keep blacks from being placed on the ballot.

36) Democrat state legislatures passed and enforced nearly a dozen different types of Jim Crow laws to subjugate blacks and deprive them of rights – measures ranging from repealing Klan laws to enacting poll taxes, from imposing literacy tests to using hide-and seek voting locations.

37) 3 When Democrat President Woodrow Wilson became President, he removed all but one black from federal government; and Wilson showed the first film at the White House –a Ku Klux Klan recruiting film.

38) In 1944, the U. S. Supreme Court finally overturned the Democrat Party policy of white only primaries to keep blacks from voting and being placed on the ballot.

39) In 1956, 100 Democrat Congressmen and Senators issued a public denunciation of the U.S. Supreme Court desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, claiming that desegregation would destroy public education.

40) Democrat governors across the south actually shut down public schools rather than allow blacks to enter;

41) in fact, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower called out federal troops to allow blacks to attend school in Little Rick over the objection of Democrat governor Orval Faubus.

42) The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced in a Congress in which Democrats controlled two-thirds of the seats, but they were unable to garner a simple majority to pass the Act. Republicans had originally authored the act, and voted overwhelming in support of it, thus providing its margin of passage.

43) The Civil Rights Act of 1964 definitely would not have passed if had been left solely to the Democrats.The Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed by Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson had been introduced in 1957 by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower

44) but had been blocked by Democrats in Congress until after President Kennedy’s assassination.

45) It, too, passed with strong Republican support. In 1973, the first two black Democrats from the South were elected to Congress: Barbara Jordan of Texas, and Andrew Young of Georgia – but only after the U. S. Supreme Court intervened and ordered the Democrat Party to redraw district lines in such a manner as to allow blacks to be elected as Democrats.

46) “The bad blood of the South comes because the Negroes are Republicans. If they would only cease to be Republicans and vote the straight-out Democratic ticket, there would be no trouble. Then the bad blood would sink entirely out of sight.”

47) AFRICAN-AMERICAN CONGRESSMAN RICHARD CAIN, 1875 “For colored voters, the Republican Party is the ship; all else is the sea.”

48) FREDERICK DOUGLASS, 1872 1 Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (), 16th Cong., 1st Sess., pp. 2555-2559, “An Act to authorize the people of Missouri Territory to form a constitution and state government,” approved March 6, 1820.

2 Statues at Large and Treaties of the United States of America, from December 1, 1845, to March 3, 1851, George Minot, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1862), Vol. 9, pp. 462-465, 31st Cong., 1st Sess., Ch. 60, “An Act to amend, and supplementary to the Act entitled ‘An Act respecting Fugitives from Justice, and Persons escaping from the Service of their Masters’,” September 18, 1850.

3 Statues at Large and Treaties of the United States of America, from December 1, 1851, to March 3, 1855, George Minot, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1855), Vol. 10, pp. 277-290, 33rd Cong.,1st Sess., Ch. 59, “An Act to Organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas,” May 30, 1854.

4 Eugene Smalley, A Brief History of the Republican Party (New York: John B. Alden, 1885), pp. 30-31.

5 Republican Campaign Edition for the Million (Boston: John Jewett & Co., 1856), pp. 3-8. See also Thomas Hudson, McKee, The National Conventions and Platforms of All Political Parties, 1789-1905 (New York: Burt Franklin, 1971), pp. 97-99, Republican Platform of 1856.

6 Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U. S. 393 (1856).

7 Thomas Hudson, McKee, The National Conventions and Platforms of All Political Parties, 1789-1905 (New York: Burt Franklin, 1971), pp. 108-109; Harper’s Weekly, July 23, 1859, p. 479, from an advertisement; view this advertisement at “The Dred Scott Decision,” Harpweek (at:http://blackhistory.harpweek.com/7Illustrations/!ListOfIllusLevelOne.htm).

8 Thomas Hudson, McKee, The National Conventions and Platforms of All Political Parties, 1789-1905 (New York: Burt Franklin, 1971), pp. 106-119.

9 Journal of the House of Representatives, 38th Congress, 2nd Session (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1865), pp. 168-171, January 31, 1865; Journal of the Senate, 38th Congress, 1st Session (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1863), p. 313, April 11, 1864.

10 Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States of America (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1866), Vol. 63, pp. 833-834, “June 13, 1866”; Journal of the Senate of the United States of America (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1865), Vol. 58, p. 505, “June 8, 1866.”

11 Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1869), pp. 449-450, 40th Congress, 3rd Session, February 25, 1869; Journal of the Senate of the United States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1869), p. 361, 40th Congress, 3rd Session,

February 25, 1869.

12 Black-American Representative and Senators by State and Territory, 1870-Present,” Black Americans in Congress (at: http://baic.house.gov/historical-data/representatives-senators-by-state.html).

13 Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), p. 355, n15.

14 Handbook of Texas Online, “African Americans and Politics,” Texas State Historical Association (at:http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wmafr).

15 Hughes, Meltzer, and Lincoln, A Pictorial History of Blackamericans, p. 205.

16 Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), p. 355, n15.

17 Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper & Row,

1988), p. 355, n15.

18 Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper & Row,1988), p. 355, n15.

19 Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), p. 355, n15.

20 Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), p. 355, n15.

21 Alabama Moments in American History, “Alabama’s Black Leaders During Reconstruction,” Alabama Department of Archives & History (at: http://www.alabamamoments.alabama.gov/sec26det.html).

22 “Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback,” Louisiana Secretary of State (at http://www.sos.la.gov/tabid/383/Default.aspx).

23 Handbook of Texas Online, “African Americans and Politics,” Texas State Historical Association (at:http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wmafr).

24 These two black leaders of the Texas Republican Party were: Norris Wright Cuney-“History of the Republican Party of Texas,” Republican Party of Texas (at: http://www.texasgop.org/overview-andhistory),Handbook of Texas Online, “Cuney, Norris Wright,” Texas State Historical Association (at:http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcu20); and William Madison McDonald-Handbook of Texas Online, “McDonald, William Madison,” Texas State Historical Association (at:http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmc45).

25 Eugene Smalley, A Brief History of the Republican Party (New York: John B. Alden, 1885), pp. 49-50-5

26 “Lynching Statistics by Year,” University of Missouri-Kansas City: School of Law (at:http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingyear.html). See also Negro Almanac, Harry Ploski and James Williams, editors (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1989), pp. 365, 368.

27 Congressional Globe (Appendix), p. 808, April 19, 1871; p. 831, April 20, 1871.

28 Congressional Globe, 42nd Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 902-903, February 8, 1872.

29 Congressional Record, 43rd Congress, 2nd Session, (Washington D. C.: Government Printing Office,1874), Vol. 3, pp. 1011, 1870, House vote of February 4, 1875, and Senate vote of February 27, 1875.

30 Handbook of Texas Online, “African Americans and Politics,” Texas State Historical Association (at:http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wmafr); Handbook of Texas Online, “Reconstruction,” Texas State Historical Association (at: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mzr01).

31 James Haskins, Distinguished African American Political and Governmental Leaders (Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1999), p. 155, s.v. “John Roy Lynch.”

32 John Roy Lynch (1884)-James Haskins, Distinguished African American Political and Governmental Leaders (Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1999), p. 155, s.v. “John Roy Lynch”; Edward Brooke (1968)-Official Report of the Proceedgins of the Twenty-Nine Republican National Convention (Republican National Committee: Dulany Vernay, Inc., 1968), p. 20; J.C. Watts (2000)- “J.C. Watts,” Oklahoma University (at: http://www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/archives/exhibit/divdist/jcwatts.html).

33 Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Vice-Chair (1972)-“Yvonne Brathwaite Burke,” The History Makers (at:http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=97); Shirley Franklin, Co-Chair (2008)-“Democrats Announce 2008 Convention Chairs,” George Washington University (at: http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2008/chrnconv08/dncc070207pr.html).

34 Dictionary of American Negro Biography, Rayford Logan and Michael Winston, editors (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1982), s.v. “Frederick Douglass”; Frederick Douglass, Douglass Autobiographies (New York: The Library of America, 1996), “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” p.453.

35 Bernard Schwartz, Statutory History of the United States, Civil Rights (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1970), Part 1, p. 803.

36 See, for example, Handbook of Texas Online, “White Primary,” Texas State Historical Association (at: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wdw01).

37 See, for example, W.E.B. DuBois, Black Reconstruction in America (New York: The Free Press,1962), pp. 172-173, 177; Dictionary of American History, s.v. “Black Codes”; “Handbook of Texas Online,“Black Codes,” Texas State Historical Association (at:http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jsb01); Page Smith, Trial by Fire (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982), p. 679; Ellery M. Brayton, An Address Upon the Election Law of South Carolina, and the Methods Employed to Suppress the Republican Vote (Columbia: Wm. Sloane,1889), p. 16.

38“The Birth of a Nation and Black Protest,” Center for History and New Media (at:http://chnm.gmu.edu/episodes/the-birth-of-a-nation-and-black-protest/).

39 Smith v. Allwright, 321 U. S. 649, 658 (1944).

40 “The Southern Manifesto,” GeorgiaInfo (at: ttp://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/manifesto.htm). See also Congressional Record, 84th Congress, 2nd Session (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office,1956), Vol. 102, pp. 4459-4461, only 96 signers are listed on the original date of announcement: 19 Senators and 77 Representatives (others were added later.

41 See, for example, The Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Passage of the Law that Enabled Racial Segregation, Robert D. Loevy, editor (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), p. 32; “Norfolk School Desegregation: Introduction,” Old Dominion University Libraries (at: http://www.lib.odu.edu/specialcollections/schooldesegregation/introduction.htm);“V. McMurry to Shivers,January 10, 1955,” Texas State Library & Archives Commission (at:https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/governors/modern/shivers-mcmurry.html);“Columbia Encyclopedia: Faubus,Orval,”Encyclopedia.com (at: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Orval_Faubus.aspx#2).

42“September, 1997 – the 40th Anniversary of One of America’s Most Important Civil Rights Events,”Little Rock Central High 40th Anniversary (at: http://www.centralhigh57.org/); The Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Passage of the Law that Enabled Racial Segregation, Robert D. Loevy, editor (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), p. 32; “Central High School: History & Culture,”National Park Service (at: http://www.nps.gov/chsc/historyculture/index.htm).6)

43 Congressional Quarterly (Washington, D. C.: Congressional Quarterly Service, 1965), 88th Cong., 2nd Sess., Vol. 20, pp. 606, 696, February 10, 1964.

44 The Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Passage of the Law that Enabled Racial Segregation, Robert D.Loevy, editor (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), pp. 26-27; Civil Rights -1957: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Constitution Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate Eighty-Fifth Congress, First Session (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1960), pp. 125-131

45 The Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Passage of the Law that Enabled Racial Segregation, Robert D.Loevy, editor (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), pp. 29-30.

46 Handbook of Texas Online, “African Americans and Politics,” Texas State Historical Association (at:http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wmafr); South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S. 303,311 (1966); Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U. S. 339, 346-348 (1960).

47 Congressional Record, 43rd Congress, 2nd Session, Vol. 3, p. 957, Rep. Richard Cain’s speech on the Civil Rights Bill, February 3, 1875.

48“A Republican Text-Book for Colored Voters,” Library of Congress (at: http://memory.loc.gov/cgibin/query/r?ammem/murray:@field%28DOCID+@lit%28lcrbmrpt1615div6%29%29:). For similar sentiments see Frederick Douglass, The Frederick Douglass Papers, Vol. 4, p. 298, from a speech delivered in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 13, 1872 (the quote reads “For Colored men the Republican party is the deck, all outside is the sea.”).

Posted in Politically Oriented in some way | Leave a comment

SAVING THE DOLLAR – A FIRST DRAFT PROPOSAL

SAVING THE US DOLLAR – A FIRST DRAFT PROPOSAL

The US Dollar is under attack due to the growing national debt, yet, another danger which is far more deadly is an attack from within. While it is not seen as an attack,   it is occurring hundreds of times a day on radio, TV, in newspapers, magazines and word of mouth.  The message is seen as one of “financial shrewdness.” But the message conveyed has an underlying motive of pure greed. Pure greed has no concern for anything or anyone. Its main mission is to accumulate at any expense.

What is this attack? I’m sure you know by now, it is GOLD AND SILVER FEVER.

For the most part, those participating in buying gold and silver make no connection between their actions and its continuing assault on the dollar. They are patriots, lovers of the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and our freedom. They have no idea that the dangers of buying gold and silver can destroy America as we know it.

Most Joe & Jane Americans have no idea that the United States Dollar is the reserve currency for the purchase of oil. Every country wanting to purchase oil must pay for it in US Dollars. This puts America and the dollar in a very strong position in the world. But there is much talk and action these days trying to change the reserve currency. Recently, several countries attempted to allow their currency to be used. If this occurs, it could very well be the last nail in the US dollar coffin and cause the dollar to be devalued to a devastating point, pushing the US into bankruptcy.

Many Americans really do not have a clear idea of the extent of the national debt.   

Here are a few definitions of national debt on the Web:

While these definitions give us an insight into the various kinds of debt, the most serious debt is what we owe to foreign nations like China. While the Republicans and some Democrats are pushing to reduce spending, we need an initiative to bring the entire country into the battle to save the dollar and our way of life by attacking the actual principal of the debt owed to China and other nations.  

How do we bring such an initiative into reality? Since the government created the debt, it’s only natural that it would empower the people to help eliminate it. 

Here is my plan: I propose that Americans come together as we did in WWII. The war effort united the country. This situation must be seen in that light to overcome the greed factor which will rise up against it.  Citizens must see that their efforts are not only to reduce the debt for our children and grandchildren but to preserve the country as we know it for them as well. 

  • To implement the above idea, I suggest creating a “Save the Dollar-Save America Bond” (Series SDSA) The specific purpose and only use of the bond money would be for direct payments to the principal of any US Loans beginning with foreign countries
  • To save printing costs, these bonds should not have a set denomination. People may invest from $25 to a billion or more. The amount is filled in at the time of purchase.  Bonds would be sold through banks and stock brokers with no commission. Codes would be assigned to the seller which enables them to access the form and register a bond via the web at the US Treasury Department. Once purchased, the seller will transmit the full amount of bonds purchased daily. 
  • The Bond would be a full purchase bond. (not $37.50 for a $50 bond, as is currently done,  but a full $50 or whatever amount, purchase.)  
  • The Bond should earn no interest and has no payout for ten years.  However, 10% of the bond purchase could be used as a deduction on income tax each year for the ten year period. 
  • In the 10th year, an interest rate would be set and bond holders may either allow the interest to accumulate, receive pay outs, or cash in for the return of their original investment.  Bonds would be tax free on interest and the original investment. 
  • Everything about the program would be cast in the light of “Save the Dollar-Save America.” The Program could have a small staff of marketing people and a director with modest salaries. Current government employees from the Treasury Department would have assignments to administer the fund.  
  • The Congressional Finance Committee would identify the payout starting with the smallest foreign debt with each payment highly published and celebrated.  Celebrities from business, music, motion picture & radio could be solicited to volunteer their efforts to support the program along with radio and television stations to volunteer making public service announcements. Motion picture professionals could create ads to run in theatres and on TV. High society will be asked to have Bond Parties similar to selling war bonds in the 1940’s. 

The chart below shows how purchases of the SDSA bonds could generate $10 billion within the first few months as major companies or billionaires make billion, or million dollar, bond purchases to kick off the SDSA bond program. In return they would receive extensive free advertising for their businesses.  Weekly recognition for other companies or individuals buying bonds would be a regular part of the program. 

While this example of $10 billion dollars will not obviously reduce our 14 trillion dollar debt significantly, it will serve to unite the country.  I believe the purchase of Save the Dollar, Save America Bonds will grow on a continual basis if we follow the plan of communicating as mentioned above. Additionally, I believe that the public would continue to put into office congressman and senators who are committed to reducing the spending to match the effort made by American citizens.

Denominations of bonds Number of Bonds purchased Dollar Amount Totals
$1,000,000,000,000 10 $10,000,000,000,000
$1,000,000 250 $250,000,000
$500,000 5,000 $2,500,000,000
$250,000 10,000 $2,500,000,000
$100,000 50,000 $5,000,000,000
$50,000 100,000 $5,000,000,000
$25,000 250,000 $6,250,000,000
$10,000 200,000 $2,000,000,000
$5,000 500,000 $2,500,000,000
$2,500 5,000,000 $12,500,000,000
$1,000 10,000,000 $10,000,000,000
$500 20,000,000 $10,000,000,000
$50 1,000,000 $50,000,000
$25 1,000,000 $25,000,000
  38,115,260 $10,058,575,000,000

This is the first draft, and certainly if the program is received and reviewed, collaboration will fine tune my idea. I offer it with a sincere patriotic goal of securing our dollar and reducing our debt significantly so that our great United States of America can regain its stature in the world.

 Paul Samuels    625 Preston Woods Trail     Atlanta, GA 30338 404-512-4542

Paulsamuelsl1@gmail.com

Posted in Politically Oriented in some way | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Is Not Enough!

Valentine’s Day Is Not Enough!

The origins of Valentine’s Day are still somewhat debated, but on the American celebration scene, there’s no question that it’s grown into a day when women look for a sign of love from the men in their lives.  Woe to the guy who forgets to express his love in some romantic way,  especially if she works in an environment where other women are receiving their flowers and candy from Cupid’s Hallmark storehouse.

Sadly, many guys think that remembering this day will get them out of the doghouse when they have neglected showing love and affection all year long.  The truth is Valentine’s Day is not enough. Then, what is enough especially in this economy?

There are 364 other days of the year with dozens of practical acts at your fingertips which cost little or nothing and mean far more than you can imagine to a woman.  The key word, my friend, is “cherish.” Cherish her in the best and worst of situations. Remember those vows?

Losing your job or your home are two of the most dramatic events possible for a man. It hits us right in our “provider instinct” and our inner voice is yelling, “failure!”  Instead of retreating into your man cave, sit down with your queen and talk to her.  Let her see the depth of your economic concerns and feelings. Pray with her! Do this and in the midst of all these challenging times, you show your wife that you are a team and that you cherish her more than she can imagine.  And as an added bonus you will be surprised to find the truth of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12,  “Two are better than one…..” as you face these problems together. Cost: zero.

I owe it to you, my fellow married men, to call some things to your attention. You single guys might want to pay attention too, because if you’re not careful, your newly-in-love, attentive behavior will slip away especially in the midst of financial stress.   That’s the basis for this writing. Things slip away. The mortgage is due. Passion dims. Respect gets hazy. Conversations turn into arguments.  Companionship gives way to loneliness. Selfishness overshadows our lives. Life becomes overwhelming.

I’ve walked down many marriage-breaker roads. You name it, and I’ve probably done it.    But by the grace of God and His love I have learned to love and be the kind of husband He wants me to be everyday not just February 14th.  In fact Valentine’s Day has lost its significance because my wife, Arlene, and I celebrate our love every day.

Now, after a God-rescued marriage, I believe I’ve earned the place to speak about marriage. Notice I did not say that I’ve arrived. I know it all. I’ve got it together. I’m saying I’ve been down the roads, I know the territory and I can see the signs far enough in advance to make the detours necessary.  Philippians 2:3, Romans 13:13 and Eph 5:21 are keys to help me notice the signs or the opportunity to give love. They’ll help you too.

Give “LOVE.” This is the essence of what I am talking about. And giving love is essential in hard times. Remember back to the beginning of your relationship how more than anything you just wanted to spend time with her? How she was on your mind when you weren’t with her? How you planned dates hoping she would love the concert, rave about the restaurant, and only graviity was keeping you grounded as you walked along holding her hand?  What happened?

How did we allow our love life to settle into something “comfortable?”  OK, in reality we don’t live our lives in the same intensity. But why not something close to it?

When my wife enters the room, my heart still skips a beat. I feel the flutter! When I look into her eyes, I still get lost in her beauty. When I hold her hand I still need gravity.  And what makes this possible for me in part is her response to the love I give.

What do I give? I believe the highest and most important point is to know what pleases her (and him, ladies). For that, I would highly recommend any of three books that totally changed our relationship: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, by Dr. John Gray, Ph.D. and The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman or Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs

But “whoa, there guys!”  This is not a “go buy the book and everything will be ok” prescription. The books are just to give you something to sink your teeth into. And by all means don’t just buy the books and walk into the house waving them saying all is going to be well now sweetheart. If your relationship is not what it should be, you have some dues to pay.  I’m not saying your relationship is so bad that you have to immediately rent the movie “Fireproof” or buy the Love Dare book, both by Alex and Stephen Kendrick.

I’m saying that while you are learning about the differences in male female personalities and discovering about her (and about him ladies) from the books, look for opportunities to show your love in the day to day ordinary things. As I said, you’ll be glad to know that the best ways to show love cost: zero. Hold her hand, touch her when you talk, massage her shoulders when you are watching TV. When she asks you to change a light bulb jump on it. Clean the toilet, put down the seat. If you have children, get a baby sitter if possible and just go get coffee together instead of a big expensive dinner out. Change diapers, hop to it with the midnight feedings. Pay attention when she talks, without trying to fix everything. Just listen!

Look in her eyes and rediscover the woman you fell in love with. Go grocery shopping with her. One of my favorite things in the grocery is to pick up a big bundle of roses and bring it over to her and tell her I love her. Then put them back!  It’s a great laugh for her, it saves money, AND she knows what my gesture means. Now that’s lovingly humorous. Cost: zero.

If you do have a little extra money, look for sales in her favorite store and invite her on a shopping date. Don’t be afraid to give her a limit. For example, sitting in SteinMart during a recent sale, I watched my wife of 38 years stroll from aisle to aisle gathering items she’d like to try on. When her arms were full, she would hand them to me smiling.  Finally satisfied that she had everything she wanted to try on she took the batch into the bowels of the fitting room.  She came out in garment after garment asking my opinion. Fortunately I learned years ago to speak the truth when she asks me how I feel something looks on her. Most of the time she takes my advice but if she really likes something she’ll disregard my opinion in favor of hers.

SteinMart wisely puts their very comfortable chairs right outside the dressing room. Most places, as you guys know, leave us just awkwardly hanging around.  After about the fifth outfit, I overheard the ladies say to my wife, “How lucky you are to have a husband who will shop with you.” My bride responded, “Would you believe he saw the sale flyer and asked me if I’d like to go shopping?” “No! You’re kidding! I have to drag my husband and then he’s so grumpy I wonder why I did.”

Not knowing that I overheard, my wife came out in another outfit and whispered the whole conversation to me and then hugged and kissed me with a big smile. I had reached “hero status,” and all I had to do to get there was to once again be sincerely attentive. I saw the ad, knew it was a favorite place of hers, checked the budget, and told her I’d like to take her on a shopping date.

A few women came out smiling at me. They told me how wonderful I was and how they wished their husbands were like me.  I heard myself respond with, “They are just missing the joy of seeing their ladies so happy.”

Try this guys. Honey, I can afford $50 or whatever your budget will allow.  Then, walk around with her until she’s got your hands full of what she wants to try on. Stand or sit near the dressing room.   She loves it when I sometimes find something I think she will like. Of course most of what I pick isn’t right but she loves my effort to join her.

You get the idea. Find ways to enter her life. You cannot imagine how she treasures that. Sure a diamond is always a great surprise but we can’t buy diamonds every day.

One of the hardest points for men is to honor her with your eyes. When you look at that beautiful young woman passing by or waiting on you, daggers fly into your wife’s heart. Her thoughts may be along the line, “I’m not enough for him, “I can’t compete with those young women,’” or some other self putdowns. This will drive a wedge between you that may take a long time to remove. Matthew 6:22 tells us, “The eyes are the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.”  If your eyes are on your spouse, that too is showing love!

I want to share an event which brought me to ultra-hero status. It happened when we served as missionaries in Romania. I knew that one of the Romanians’ skills was working with leather, so I smuggled a fur stole that my wife’s dad bought for his Queen in the early 60’s. Through our translator, I found a skilled tailor who re-worked the fur stole into a long leather coat using the fur as a collar and back. She then stitched inside a huge red cloth heart declaring my love. I gave it to my wife for Christmas and tears of joy flowed for several days. The sentiment and beauty overwhelmed her. She has since told the story of that gift everywhere she’s worn the coat. And always she opens the coat which gets aaaahhhs from everyone, and she relives the entire event. And I enjoy having blessed her all over again. Look for the sentimental. Write her a love letter and put it under her pillow when you go out of town or leave for the day. Again,  the cost of love notes and letters? Zero.

Blessing her; that truly sums up what cherishing your Queen is all about. I have no greater pleasure then to see joy on her face. It’s the look that says, “I know you love me! I see your love! I see you cherishing me…thank you!”  And remember, your love will sustain you even when the finances don’t! Happy Valentine’s day all year long!

LOVE IS A PEACE THAT COMES!

Love is a peace that comes!..
from conversation in which we relate
all we have to say
and know we are being heard

from security in the knowledge
that we are being ourselves
and accepted for who we are

from understanding that we are individuals
and it is impossible
to be everything to each other

from growth
which is allowed to occur
at our own speed

from passion
which is encouraged to occur naturally
with no resentment if it doesn’t

from gentleness
in a world where gentleness,
to often is unimportant

from commitment
to each other as friends and lovers
today and all of our tomorrow,
Love is a peace that comes!

© www.paulsamuels.com

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Little Twinkle

       

Little Twinkle                              by Paul & Arlene Samuels

 Long ago and light years away from Earth, God created “The Star Mill” to train all the stars He made.  In The Star Mill trillions of stars gleamed and grew until God sent them to their own constellations. Like all other stars, Little Twinkle glimmered his first light here where God gave each one its own name. When God named Little Twinkle, He said, “Little Twinkle, I have a special job for you.” Little Twinkle smiled up into God’s face.

He glowed stronger and brighter every time he imagined what his job might be. As Little Twinkle grew, he was part of all the activity in the Star Mill. He gleamed in and out of polishing rooms, classes on how to live together in constellations, and how to keep a shine bright.

When stars graduated, God and the angels staged brilliant ceremonies sending them out into far flung galaxies.  God’s Son Jesus always sat at His Father’s right hand on a jewel-studded throne.  All the stars adored Jesus and His Father.

Shortly after one of the graduation ceremonies, God gave job assignments to Little Twinkle’s star class. When God handed him the scroll containing his engraved assignment, Little Twinkle almost lost his spark. His job was in the Star Hall of Fame polishing the golden frames picturing famous stars. Little Twinkle thought, “I hoped I might at least be in the shining room where there’s so much fellowship and excitement.” But quickly his trust and adoration of the Father overshadowed his disappointment. Little Twinkle said aloud, “He knows what He’s doing. Everyone here trusts Him completely. I do too!”

 So each day, as Little Twinkle polished, he looked up with admiration at Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.  He longed for the adventures of the North Star which guided mariners over the seas. He put an extra respectful coat of polish on Orion and Pleiades’ frames because they were mentioned in the holy scrolls. He could hardly imagine the tremendous power of the sun, the star closest to Earth. And he longed to go to the legendary Milky Way. 

 Over the years, Little Twinkle attended millions of ceremonies commissioning the stars. Their names rang out in the brightly lit halls where the stars glowed together like candles in the night. Aquarius. Andromeda. Corvius.  Ursa Minor. Carina. On and on God read the names as He bestowed on them colors of blue, white, yellow, or red.

 Little Twinkle often felt twinges of disappointment and feelings of impatience. Sometimes, he’d go back to his quarters after a star spangled ceremony with tears running down his face. Always, though, he talked with God the Father about his feelings. God always understood and gave him some special word of encouragement. Often, God walked by the beautiful pictures while Little Twinkle polished. “You’re doing a fine job, Little Twinkle.  Those golden frames have never sparkled more.” Little Twinkle glowed holding God’s words close in his heart.               

One night, Little Twinkle heard rumors. Whispers sparked from star to star. “God was doing what??” “He’s sending His Son Jesus to Earth as a human baby. He’s going to be born to a young Jewish woman named Mary. The Earth needs a Savior. God planned it from the beginning.” 

 Little Twinkle and the other stars were awestruck. They knew God’s love stretched across every galaxy and quasar He’d made-even the ones 16 billion light years away. But to send His only Son to Earth as a baby???.

 At a time when stars usually took a holiday from their labors in lessons and shining, Little Twinkle was just putting the finishing touches of polish on the last golden picture frame when He heard that gentle yet powerful voice behind him-the one that always kindled a brighter glow inside.

 God said, “Little Twinkle, the time has come for the special job I created you for. All these years of polishing the golden frames of famous stars have prepared you for what I am about to show you.” Then God hung a new golden frame in the legendary row of stars. The name on the frame read, “The Star of Bethlehem.”

 God said, “This is YOUR new name. And you will be the brightest star that ever shone in the universe. You will be the star that leads wise men to where my Son will be born into the House of David among the Jewish people.  You will hover over the stable in Bethlehem, Israel where Jesus will be born.   Everyone on Earth will marvel at your beauty and brightness. You will guide people to see my Son as He enters Earth as the King of Kings disguised as a babe.”

 Little Twinkle bowed before God the Father. Tears streamed down his face as he struggled to speak. “Dear Father, I always wanted to do something special but I am not worthy of this high honor.” ”Star of Bethlehem,” God said, ‘You have been faithful in the little things. Your inner glow has become like the burnished gold on the picture frames. Nothing has dimmed your brightness and you have trusted me even in disappointment. Your ceremony will be held early tomorrow night just as the evening star becomes visible to earth.”

 God and all the angels appeared in the most magnificent robes Little Twinkle had ever seen.  Banners of every color gently blew in the evening breeze.  Millions of stars lined the carpet of light which led to God’s throne. Jesus sat in the throne of precious jewels next to Him. He said “I will see you on earth in just a short while Little Twinkle.” 

 Then God said,”Little Twinkle, I re-name you the ‘Star of Bethlehem.’  Go forth now and shine brightly in honor of my only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ.”                          

The Holy Spirit touched the top of Little Twinkle’s highest point. He felt a tremendous surge of energy as he stood up.  The Star of Bethlehem, bowing once again to God shot into the night sky with a brilliant flash of light.  He traveled light years until he saw a simple stable. There, he settled high overhead glowing with the brightest twinkles ever witnessed in those and the far eastern skies. So bright did Little Twinkle shine that almost two thousand years later a hymnist wrote about the Star of Bethlehem. * Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright. Westward leading still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light. Amen!  

“We Three Kings of Orient Are” A famous American Christmas Carol written in 1857 by Rev. John Henry Hopkins.

Posted in Thoughts on God | Leave a comment

Where is Christmas?

The story begins when Woody Squirrel falls into a snow drift where he overhears two “People-Kids” talking about Christmas.  Excitedly, he scampers into an adventure to find the treasure of presents and food under a tree of colorful lights. He rounds up his forest friends for the treasure search. All is well until “Phew Skunk” sneaks up and sets off a firestorm of arguments among the once-happy gang.  Their loud voices wake up Wise Old Owl who helps them discover that Christmas is not a WHERE but a “WHOOOOO.”  The ideal age is second to fourth grades but younger children enjoy the illustrations and learning about the WHO of Christmas too.  

Available at my publishers page: http://bit.ly/92g15m and Amazon.com   http://amzn.to/hnhAD 

 Praise for Where is Christmas?  …Where is Christmas?  will give you many precious moments to enjoy with the children in your life.” Martha Sears, RN Co-author- CHRISTIAN PARENTING AND CHILD CARE and THE BABY BOOK   www.askdrsears.com

 ”… An adventure of childhood proportion that ends at the feet of a newborn Savior “ Ray Snyder, author-The Business of Families Senior Consulting Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies   www.raysnyder.com  

“… Makes me wish I was a child again just to have someone read the story to me Gayle D. Erwin, author- The Jesus Style  www.servantquarters.com

 “… this book is worth reading, not just at Christmas, but year-round.” Frederica Mathewes-Green   The Illumined Heart and Facing East    www.frederica.com

Posted in Thoughts on God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Adventure with Aglow

Anyone who has traveled extensively can tell you that some meetings are a required nightmare, others a tolerable duty, still others are ok but nothing special. Few and far between are the ones you wish would just go on and on and on.  Such was my trip to San Jose, California in the company of my bride of 34 years who was speaking at their national conference.  (I’d go anywhere with her!)  I’ve heard of Aglow International, I thought it was a woman’s prayer group. But that is where my knowledge ended. I’m forced at this point to admit that ignorance almost cheated me out of a delightful time of fellowship with MEN and WOMEN who know how to usher us into the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

The theme of the conference was “THE SOUND.”  Jane Hansen Hoyt, President/CEO of Aglow International set the challenge to attend with these words: “Faith tested becomes the triumphant, sure sound of victory reverberating in the earth. Come, be a part of the sound!  Listen for it! The whole earth vibrates with the sounds of heaven. Enter the sound chamber with us. Come to hear a new sound forming in your spirit. Get ready.”

There were many expressions put forth of the sound of the Kingdom and our King by Jane Hansen Hoyt who spoke of the sound of passion for experiencing the Holy Spirit. Other speakers brought us The Sound of Worship, Ray Hughes of Selah Ministries , The Sound of Success, Mary Forsythe of Kingdom Living The Sound of Extravagant Love, Graham Cooke  and if they weren’t enough,  a couple of dozen or so leaders gave encouraging words of happenings in the various Aglow groups around the world, both spiritually and with humanitarian outreaches to those in need.

I felt the Holy Spirit feed me a personal understanding of…

Sounds 

The sound of Salvation… hearing the word of God offered in love 

The sound of love…I have given my Son for you

The sound of acceptance…Lord, here I am

The sound of new life…being born again without the pain of childbirth

The sound of the Holy Spirit…soft and gentle, guiding not pushing

drawing us to Jesus

The sound of the gift…Father forgive them

The sound of the proof…the rolling away of the stone

The sound of eternity… I am with you always, even to the end of days.

Worship, prayer and dancing all affected me in a wonderful way. For instance, I am one of these rigid guys who cannot get my feet off the ground no matter how much I tried to “jump for joy.”   My bride says I “have no rhythm and I can’t carry a note.” I’ve got the kind of voice that leaders turn to when they need to quiet down an audience or clear a room.  The only place I feel comfortable about my voice is when I am performing a poetry reading or public speaking. But I digress. Back to the dancing and worship. I’ve been in many meetings where the worship was moving, my home church has great worship, but I’ve always been “Mr. Stiff.”  Maybe it was just my time or maybe when my eyes caught my Bride and others so free in the Lord that I was set free.  My Bride was smiling ear to ear when she saw me get up and jump in (literally) It was such a significant experience for me that the Lord gave me His insight to the dancing.

You Dance

You dance, offering yourself to me

offering your whole self, your voice,

your smile, your uplifted arms

a sacrifice of joy

What pleasure your words are

to My ears, the sound of pure love

longing to be closer to Me.

You have no idea how close

you truly are.

Your sounds fill My throne room with worship

even My angels are blessed

as I receive your worship

Thank you!

I shared these poems with a few Aglow women and at the Aglow men’s meeting. I received a lot of satisfaction from many of their comments. Please feel free to pass this on to any Aglow folks or others. I hope they will be blessed by it.

Would love your comments just to know you’ve been here. (Scroll all the way to bottom of this post to comment)

To those who asked about my children’s Christmas book, Where is Christmas? Here is the storyu line: The story begins when Woody Squirrel falls into a snow drift where he overhears two “People-Kids” talking about Christmas.  Excitedly, he scampers into an adventure to find the treasure of presents and food under a tree of colorful lights. He rounds up his forest friends for the treasure search. All is well until “Phew Skunk” sneaks up and sets off a firestorm of arguments among the once-happy gang.  Their loud voices wake up Wise Old Owl who helps them discover that Christmas is not a WHERE but a “WHOOOO.”  The ideal age is second to fourth grades but younger children enjoy the illustrations and learning about the WHO of Christmas too. And adults love just reading it to them. you may click on my publishers page at Create Space   or Amazon.Com and to see more of my poetry you may visit PaulSamuels.com

To my friends who have not experienced an Aglow meeting I want to give you my highest recommendation to attend and enjoy. The next meeting will be late Sept 2011 in Houston Texas. But you can find out about your local Aglow groups/lighthouses by clicking here. Please also see the bottom of this post for more information about Aglow International.

For my Mercy Ship friends I want to share about two brief reunions. I bumped into a woman as we were all leaving for lunch. I turned and said, “Sorry, excuse me,” and kept walking.  The woman came running up to Arlene and me and said, “I know you.” It was Clara Mast former Human Resources person from the Anastasis. She reminded me that she had processed our

acceptance papers to join DTS onboard in 1987.  Then we had a planned lunch with Jack Hill, who lives very close to San Jose. How fun it was to have a long lunch and catch up with him. 

Aglow’s Mission Statement

To help restore and mobilize women and men around the world.

To promote gender reconciliation in the Body of Christ as God designed.

To amplify awareness of global concerns from a Biblical perspective.

What is Aglow?

• Aglow International is a trans-denominational organization of Christian women and men that some Christian leaders call a “global movement”

• Aglow is established in 172 nations on 6 continents, all of which have indigenous leaders overseeing the work in their nations

• An estimated 200,000 women and men meet together each month through local Aglow fellowships–the heart of the organization

• More than 21,000 Aglow leaders worldwide minister in their communities

• An estimated 17 million individuals each year are ministered to through Aglow groups

• Aglow consists of small group studies, care (support) groups, retreats, and annual conferences

• Aglow workers, through prayer and evangelism, offer practical gifts of clothing, food, housecleaning, and babysitting, as well as mentoring young people

• Aglow groups impact their communities by reaching out to those in prison, in senior homes, inner city neighborhoods, and mental institutions; to single moms, working men and women, all beginning with the next door neighbor

• Aglow has experienced rapid growth in the past several years, including the nations of Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

• In Europe, Aglow is established in every major nation (40 nations)

• An active Aglow program in Europe called “Adopt-A-Nation” gives many of the Western European nations the opportunity to “adopt” other nations for support and/or prayer

Want to get involved? Click here

Posted in Thoughts on God | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Searching for God?

How does one search for God these days? Is it a head trip of books of religious doctrine, or patristic historic history? Or perhaps a heart trip filled with the emotional experiences of others? Maybe like me it was a pantheistic fascination with nature.  Maybe it’s a combination of all. But does God want to be found? The answer is a resounding YES! And He gave us the scripture that we might do so. Here are just a couple of examples of His call to us:
Proverbs 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
Jeremiah 29:13  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
14  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD,

Scripture! At this very word some sneer and turn away. After all, they say. it cannot be so simple as to read this ancient book or to have someone quote it to us. Surely there must be a significant effort of some kind put forth. Climb a mountain on our knees. Earn a doctorate digging for the truth. But read the Bible or listen to someone share the words of salvation and relationship. No that is childishness!

God does not require us to jump through hoops of our own creation. All He desires is that we have faith that He exists and that we believe He wants to be found. It is that simple!   The book of Romans puts it this way Rom 10:17 …faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Do you really want to find God? Try this….a)buy or borrow a Bible b)get someplace alone and turn off your cell phone c) Believe that God wants to be found and pray this simple prayer: God I want to find you. I want to have a relationship with you. d) open to the book of John Chapter 3:1-16 and pray God please show me Yourself and how I can be in relationship with You.  Ask him to show you other specific scriptures

Read my poem Search and let’s talk

SEARCH 

I searched for God at the shore of the sea
but, His presence was hidden from me.
I could really see that the ocean was His
but, it was obvious that it was not where He lives.

I sought to find Him in the blue skies above
but, while they were pretty, I could not feel His love.
Oh, I could see that they were painted by Him.
But I could not find Him dwelling within.

I walked in the woods among the trees and the birds
but, still not a sound from Him could be heard.
there was no doubt that this was His creation
but, it was not the place of His habitation.

I looked to the night sky full to the brim
but, still it gave me no direction to Him.
The jewels above were surely His own
but, it was obvious this was not His home.

I began to think we would always remain apart
then someone shared how to have Him in my heart.
someone told me about Calvary
and how this Messiah Jesus died for me.

I fell to my knees and called out His name.
He came to me and washed away my shame.
Now I no longer search for Him
for now at last, He dwells within.

Posted in Thoughts on God | Leave a comment