BREAKING NEWS Thursday, May 2, 2013 7:08 PM EDTBoston Bombing Suspects Had First Planned Attack for July FourthWASHINGTON − The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings told F.B.I. interrogators that, as he and his brother plotted their deadly assault, they considered suicide attacks and striking on the Fourth of July, according to a law enforcement official.But the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, who was killed in a shootout with the police, ultimately decided to use pressure-cooker bombs and other homemade explosive devices, the official said.The brothers finished building the bombs in Tamerlan’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass., faster than they anticipated and so decided to accelerate their attack to the Boston Marathon on April 15, Patriots Day in Massachusetts, from July, according to the account that Dzhokhar provided authorities. They picked the finish line of the marathon after driving around the Boston area looking for alternative sites, according to this account.In addition, Mr. Dzhokhar told authorities that he and his brother viewed the Internet sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American cleric who moved to Yemen and was killed in September 2011 by an American drone strike. There is no indication that the brothers communicated with Mr. Awakli before his death.READ MORE »http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/us/Boston-bombing-suspects-planned-july-fourth-attack.html?emc=na
The new life is not a myth, and it is not like going on a low-fat or low carbs diet. Neither is it like setting a New Year Resolution. If, anything, it is part spiritual and part physical. The spiritual — is completely out of the control of the flesh, but the physical–is like a ball in your court. Therefore, whatever we say and do will say a lot about the life we live.
Naturally, the heavenly father carved out a new life for us when He sent His Son to die. Sadly, though, none of us can embrace this new life until we get rid of the old life. In essence, the old life died with Christ, but many of us continue to hold on to its memories that we find it difficult to embrace the new life.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul hinted at the new life when he writes, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.
Of course, Paul was speaking from experience. We have read about his dramatic conversion on the Damascus road. The Bible states that Paul then Saul was breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples. He even went to the high priest requesting authorization to go down to Damascus and bound anyone he finds spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, all that furor and hatred would change once Paul experienced the new life. (Read Acts 9:1-19, Acts 22:6-21, Acts 26:12-18).
Therefore, the apostle knew first hand that without the new life we are like the unruly Israelite who could not shake the memories of the meat they ate in Egypt and Lot’s wife who hung on to the memories of Sodom to her death. Still, if anyone doubted Paul’s thesis, then He need not look further than the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3:1-8.
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one can do the signs you are doing, unless God is with him.”
“How can someone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to the flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
No rational human being, religious or secular, can deny with any degree of credibility that there are much differences between political principles and moral principles. Therefore, moral principles should take precedence over political principles, especially when the expected outcome impacts the greater good of the society at large. However, politicians in Washington are best known for putting their political principles before their moral obligations, especially when fulfilling their moral obligations do not translate to many votes at the polls. And it matters not to these elected servants whether the country is at a critical juncture where many of its citizens are struggling to find work and provide food for their families.
Anyone on the outside looking in would think putting people back to work is our number-one priority. Instead, these self-centered rich intractable are more interested in scoring points than moving their country forward. They have manufactured crisis after crisis, and then they use scripted rhetoric to deceive the American people into believing that they have their best interest at heart. It seems everything in Washington is a chess game. Nobody wants to give a little and take a little. It is either all or nothing.
Let’s take the ongoing budget debacle, for example. What a mess this fiasco has turned out to be. There are no signs of compromise on the horizon, even though polls after polls have indicated that a majority of the American people want both sides to reach an agreement that will help move this struggling the country forward.
Still, the thing that disturbs me the most about Washington is the claim of being Christian by many of its heartless politicians. These men and women are so consumed by their political ideology that they rather ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ than compromise. Frankly, I am not sure about these people. The Holy Bible tells me that as, Christians, we must “Let our light shine before men who may see our good works, and glorify the Father who is in heaven. However, all I hear from these so-called Christians in Washington are gloom and doom.
Recent horrifying statistics show that one in three women globally will be raped, beaten or severely violated in their lifetime. That’s 1 billion women. And that’s how this new campaign got its name, its impetus and its focus. On February 14, 2013, V-Day’s fifteenth anniversary, activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world will come together to express their outrage, strike, dance and rise in defiance of the injustices females suffer daily, demanding an enduring end to violence against women…The Nation
The recently concluded Presidential election campaign reminds me of the story of the duel between David and Goliath. (Romney was Goliath and Obama was David). Goliath on one hand, was tall and brawny, one of the most feared in the mighty Philistine army. He had a reputation of tearing his victims apart. (Romney blew away his opponents in the primary). David, however, was just a boy in a frail body with a sling and a stone and an extremely weak Israeli army to back him up. At least, that was what Goliath and his army thought. (Romney underestimated the Obama campaign). Here, is what Goliath said when David approached him:
“Am I a dog that thou comes to me with staves?” The Bible says the Philistine curse David by his gods. He then entreats David: “Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air and to the beasts of the field” (1 Samuel 17:44). Then David said to the Philistine, “Thou comes to me with a sword and a spear and a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied” (1 Samuel 17:45)
David had a secret weapon–his faith in God. He knew that the battle was not his. It was the Lord’s. Therefore, if he allowed God to fight the battle for him, he would be victorious.
Similarly, Mr. Romney is perceives as the stronger of the two candidates. He had the power of his millionaire donors behind him. Like Goliath, he was confident that he would rip his opponent apart. However, as we have learned in the David and Goliath story. Might does not always make right. Mr. Obama had the small donors–the people on his side. He knew that the greatest asset in any election was the people. Money is crucial, but money do not vote. People do.
In the end, David overcame the mighty Goliath and his Philistine army and did what he promised. He cut off Goliath’s head and gave it to the fowls. Likewise, Mr. Obama prevails over Mr. Romney. As I have said before, “Might does not always make right”.
It’s been one week since the Aurora theater massacre, and people are still searching for answers. Some are even asking,” Where was God in Aurora massacre?” CNN asked the question on twitter. The following is some of the responses. What do you think?
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – Where was God in Aurora?
It’s a fresh take on an age-old question: Why does God allow suffering, natural disasters or – if you believe in it – evil?
We put the question to Twitter on Tuesday and got some starkly different responses.
“In short, God was in complete control, exercising His will,” wrote @PastorRileyF, who leads a church in Bethune, Colorado.
That riled @TheTrivia Jockey, who tweeted, “If that was God’s will, God is definitely not deserving of my worship.”
@trentpayne also took issue with the Colorado pastor: “I’m going to respectfully disagree with you Pastor. God gives free will to man, but it wasn’t his will that they die.”
The back-and-forth provoked other believers to chime in on the theological issue of God’s sovereignty vs. human free will, with many Christians seeking to explain how a sovereign God could preside over seemingly senseless bloodshed.
The conversation and debate continued in the comments section of this post, with some insinuating that the massacre might be a kind of divine punishment, or at lease divine neglect:
We as a country have been telling God to go away. We told him to get off our currency, get out of our schools, get out of our Pledge of Allegiance, take your Ten Commandments out of our courthouses, get those Bibles out of hotels and no graduation ceremonies in our churches. How can we expect God to give us his blessing and his protection if we demand that he leave us alone?
Liberals have made it impossible for God to be anywhere during the upbringing of a child. Can’t have any religious connotations in schools, libraries, government offices, etc., etc. Young men (and women) are growing up with no real sense of right and wrong. … We no longer have the right of religion, but rather the right from religion. Parents no longer have the ability to discipline their children. We are always looking for the excuses … violent video games and movies, bad teachers and schools … when we should be looking in the mirror. We as a society are the reasons these massacres happen. We have allowed our children to become social misfits that lead to the kind of carnage we have seen on several occasions since religion and God disappeared from what the Founding Fathers once said was a necessity of a successful democracy … faith.
Lots of readers used religious takes on the shooting to challenge the whole idea of God:
Who invited me?
How do you know the people that were killed didn’t go to hell?, and how exactly does any of this show there is a reason? Reason is obviously something that you have replaced with belief, and you threw out logic with it.
“God doesn’t exist, so he wasn’t anywhere. Get over it. A man was evil, and he was evil because he was crazy.
Plenty of others said the shooting was the devil’s work:
Evil things like this happen because Satan is the god of this world … for the time being. God will undo all the damage caused by Satan’s rebellion and man’s disobedience when the time is right. In the meantime we all experience trials and tribulation due to living in an ungodly world. That is why Jesus taught his followers the Lord’s Prayer … ‘to pray for God’s kingdom to come.’
- My Take: CNN readers’ 7 answers to ‘Where was God in Aurora?’ (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
- Palin Reacts to ‘Evil’ Movie Massacre (huffingtonpost.com)
- Christian Bale and Wife Visit Aurora Shooting Victims and Memorial (popsugar.com)