Out in rural Cordes Lakes, Arizona, 3-year-old Victoria thought to look for the family dog Blue, a Queensland Heeler. Blue has been her constant companion since her birth.
Victoria became lost in the frigid cold for fifteen hours before she was found in a frozen ravine, the dog covering her. Blue kept her alive and well, except for a little frostbite.
What’s in a name? Genesis 2:19 NLT says, “So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man [Adam] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.”
In English, ‘dog’ just means ‘dog’. That’s about it. Hebrew is different. The Hebrew word for ‘dog’ is ‘kelev’, a compound word meaning “like a heart”. Blue’s heart was for Victoria.
Blue stayed close to Victoria, closer than any human friend. This is a real-life example why we call dogs “man’s best friend”. You probably have your own favorite dog story.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” You have a friend more loyal, more helpful, than any dog, a friend who would lay down his life for you. In fact, that friend did indeed lay down his life for you nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus Christ is this friend.
Blue understood Victoria’s need for companionship and a covering to protect her. Psalm 46:1 reassures us, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. He was born of a virgin, raised in a family with younger brothers and sisters. Jesus knows what it’s like to be human. Scripture says, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds, you are healed.”
The traditional Christmas story of baby Jesus in a manger, helpless, incapable of surviving without his mom, highlights only the beginning of his 33-year lifetime on earth.
Jesus isn’t a helpless little nursing infant. Neither is he still hanging on a cross. Jesus is alive, having defeated death and the grave. He’s seated at the right hand of God the Father and he sent us his Holy Spirit to guide us and to warn us and to empower us.
Perhaps Christmas 2016 will mark a turning point in your life, as it was for me in 1974.
Preachers preach about him. Friends may talk about him. Has someone given you Christian literature or told you that you need Jesus in your heart? I know how to do all these things, but there is one thing that will make Jesus Christ more real to you, more relevant than any human persuasion.
It is my prayer for all who read this that Jesus Christ will reveal himself to you in dreams or visions or audibly. As Jesus remarked to the Apostle Peter in Matthew 16:18, he builds his church, his called out ones, upon this rock of revelation.
Persuasive words can change the mind of a logical man, but no one can change the mind of a man who has experienced a personal, divine revelation.
Setting up definitions, an embargo is a restriction on commerce, esp. a government order prohibiting the movement of ships into or out of its ports, or restricting certain freight for shipment. A blockade is the closing off of a port, city, etc., by an enemy to prevent anyone from coming in or going out.
Did the U.S. ever blockade Cuban ports? Yes, President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba to enforce a “strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba” during the missile crisis on October 22, 1962, as the USSR faced off with the U.S. over Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. That one-and-only naval blockade ended less than one month later on November 20, 1962.
From 1962 until his death, Fidel Castro fostered a myth of a U.S. naval blockade as the cause of poverty in Cuba. Facts run contrary to the myth.
Cuba has always had open trade with other nations and Cuba has enjoyed extensive trade with our nation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), “Since the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) was implemented in 2000, the United States has exported nearly $5 billion worth of agricultural products to Cuba. These exports have been supported by the close geographical proximity of the United States to Cuba and the island’s strong demand for U.S. agricultural products. The United States has typically been the largest supplier to Cuba and has had the highest market share of the island’s imports in nine out of the last 11 fiscal years.“
Another myth was the origin of the name ‘Granma’ that became the banner of the Cuban Communist Party official news service.
Following his victory over Batista, Castro carved out a new province he named after his revolutionary yacht Granma.
My Cuban friends are surprised to learn that yacht Castro purchased from an American in Mexico was named Granma by the American to honor a grandmother.
I quote: “Fidel purchased the boat with $15,000 US provided by Cuban-Americans living in Florida. Fund-raising was coordinated by Carlo Prío Socarrás, a former Cuban president living in exile.”
For most of the years since his victory over Batista, Castro has been generally successful in deflecting responsibility for the extreme poverty and tyrannical oppression by propping up a false narrative of the ‘evil’ U.S.A. that maintained a blockade around Cuba.
In 1959, Cuba had the fourth largest economy in the western hemisphere. It’s citizens enjoyed a higher standard of living than U.S. citizens. The Cuban peso was on par with the U.S. dollar and it was printed by the American Banknote Company.
Fidel Castro’s communist government enjoyed the financial and military backing of the former Soviet Union (USSR) from its inception until 1991 when the USSR collapsed.
From 1959 to 1991, Cuba was aligned with the USSR and Venezuela was aligned with the USA. Castro’s support for the antigovernment movement in Venezuela destabilized that country, leading to the election of Hugo Chavez in 1999. Chavez and Castro formed strong bonds. Venezuela became Castro’s new ‘sugar daddy’.
Hugo Chavez supplied Fidel Castro with money, oil, and technology paid for with cash from the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA, the only funds Chavez could constitutionally control.
Hugo Chavez drained PDVSA of capital to fund his socialist ‘reforms’ of low-cost grocery stores, cheap gasoline and a host of other things. The Castro government exchanged human capital in the form of Soviet-Union-style government administrators and medical personnel. As an aside, Chavez worked to undermine the Mexican government by providing free eye surgeries to poor Mexicans.
Maduro followed Chavez as president and the Venezuelan economy and society continued its slide into the abyss of economic collapse. Desperate Venezuelans face dire food shortages.
For many years desperate Cubans fled Castro’s socialist paradise aboard boats and crude rafts. They are known as the balseros (people who ride on rafts).
Now, desperate Venezuelans follow suit. We have a new generation of balseros.
As Venezuelan financial support dried up, Cuba’s communist government faced imminent collapse. Want to guess which socialist stepped up to the plate?
President Barack Obama could have worked to end the Cuban embargo seven years ago, but he did not. Why did he suddenly decide to open up travel to Cuba? I provided that answer December 25, 2014 – Obama’s Cuban-Venezuelan Connection – Why He Ends the Cuban Embargo: my opinion.
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and fellow progressives persistently manipulate and maneuver to undermine our republic in favor of socialism which is the bridge to global governance.
Socialism failed in Russia, in the Soviet-bloc countries, in China, in Brazil, Cuba, and Venezuela which is now Cuba 2.0. Most certainly it will fail here, also.
I believe with all my heart that God has given us a second chance, as indicated by the miraculous election of President-elect Donald Trump. It is now imperative we teach the true history of this nation to the next generations of citizens.
“Of the 109 cars on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway train, 107 were carrying Bakken crude, the Associated Press reported. Two were buffer cars loaded with sand that rode between the tankers and the engine. It was one of at least two dozen such accidents and fires in the U.S. and Canada since 2006, the AP said, citing federal records it had reviewed. This was the fifth derailment in 2015, AP said. The practice of transporting crude from the Bakken oil fields, whose bitumen is more volatile than normal crude, by train has been growing drastically, as have the number of accidents. The two to three dozen residents of the town of Heimdal, about 115 miles northeast of Bismarck, was evacuated.“
The ACLU sent an email appeal to its blind followers to protest police actions against unruly Indians for whom the ACLU falsely claims, “This indigenous community continues to protect its sacred land and vital access to clean water.“
First of all, the Dakota Access Pipeline is mostly complete and all – 100% – of the pipeline route is PRIVATE LAND, not on ‘sacred Indian land’.
UPDATE 2/20/2017: Environmentalists Leave ‘Ecological Disaster’ At Protest Camp – Gov. Declares Disaster – February 17, 2017 By
Second, a pipeline provides far superior protection to water supplies than the Berkshire-Hathaway-owned BNSF railroad that presently transports crude oil now. Each rail car holds 30,000 gallons of crude. In the above story, there were 107 tanker cars filled with crude. Do the math: 30,000 X 107 = 3,210,000 gallons of crude per train.
The protest is most likely funded by Warren Buffet. Once the pipeline is complete, his railroad will be D.O.A. Greed is the motivation, not any concern for ‘indigenous people’ or water quality.