Life Through the Lens of Faith
Archives 2008-09
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TURKEY WAS A REVELATION.  READ MY TRAVELOGUE!  MY POSTS WILL BE LIMITED IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS AS THE SPIRIT HAS CHANGED MY FOCUS.  I HAVE BEEN ELECTED CO-PRESIDENT OF THE WASHINGTON, DC ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CONSORTIUM (DCEEC), AND SOON BEGIN A COURSE TO BECOME A CERTIFIED MASTER GARDENER SO I CAN BEGIN GROWING VEGETABLES.
 
Welcome to my blog!  My name is Carl Rollins.  
 
My focus will be the discussion of how the choices we make, individually and corporately, affect our goals of attaining holiness, righteousness and justice.
 
This process directly impacts the level of our spiritual growth into fully loving, compassionate and happy people.
 
Topics will vary and politics will be avoided except to the extent that public policy is related to the poor and needy, the Middle East, international relations, and the role of an active God in our lives.  I will post when the Spirit moves me.  Click on the link above the picture of the Lord to read the latest post.  When the Spirit moves me, I will also include longer essays.
 
Below, I have provided some of my favorite links to news outlets, some recommended reading and a couple of threads.  In particular, check out the threads on Afghanistan and the one on Poverty and International Development.  I pray that some will find them highly enlightening.  I have also included some info on praise and worship.  Amen!

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Links to Articles and Blogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Yet another stunning account of the lengths that our leaders were willing to go to in order to break the laws outlawing wiretapping of Americans by our intelligence ag-encies: "Conflict Over Spying Led White House to the Brink," a Wash-ington Post article from 9/14/08

 

 

 

 

 

  • "Melting Point," the immigration issue is explored through the microcosm of a small town in this Washington Post piece from 9/2/08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The effects of disparate sentencing for crack and powdered cocaine are explored in "Cracking Open," a Washington Post magazine piece from 6/1/08

 

 

  • "The Torture Sessions," a New York Times op-ed from 4/20/08 on the Bush admin-istration's justification for harsh interrogation tactics on suspected terrorists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • "Looking at America;" unflattering critique of "War on Terrorism" is focus of end of year New York Times editorial

 

The Environment
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • "The Next Little Thing?," a New York Times article from 9/10/08; in a similar vein check out "Chasing Utopia," an article from the same paper than ran on 5/17/08--if non-believers are doing this, what should we be doing?

 

 

 

 

 

  • "Cycling Back Around," a Washington Post article from 8/2/08 on the resurgence of the use of bicycles for commuting

 

  • "The Worst Way of Farming," this New York Times editorial from 5/31/08 exposes and criticizes the worst aspects of our industrial farming system

 

 

 

 

  • Finally, someone in the mainstream media gets it on climate change: "Why Bother?", a New York Times magazine article from 4/20/08

 

  • High oil and gasoline prices combined with a new will are creating hope in the area of alternative fuels: "Turning Glare into Watts"

 

  • President Bush puts "economic values and... personal comfort and well-being" above clean air according to "Ozone Rules Weakened at Bush's Behest," a Washington Post article from 3/14/08
 
 
Don't forget to check the "Faith & the Environment" page on this website, as well as my recent blog post with the same title!

Darkness

 
Despite clear biblical teachings, many people discount the existence of witchcraft and satanic worship, as well as their power to cause evil.  Sometimes stories in the media put the true facts on center stage for all to see:
 
 
  • In the Washington Post story "The Brutal Truth" that ran on 4/8/08 the impact of withcraft and magic upon the brutal rapes occurring in the war-torn Congo are explicit

 

 

  • In "Inside the Black Budget," a New York Times  story from 4/1/08, weird arm patches worn by "black world" contractors and special forces reveal a troubling occult angle that is reminiscent of the CIA's use of clairvoyants in the 1980's (this is no April fool's joke)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a brief biblical primer of things related to the spiritual dark side, see this short memo with quotations and references to bible dictionary entries

 

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Links to Recommended Books

 

  • Anyone interested in the "War on Terror" should read the following for a cogent analysis of the history behind one of the crucial regions (Pakistan):
 
 
 
 

 

  • For an interesting take on the interplay of food, farming, energy and the environment please consider:

 

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver.

 

 

  • At the risk of being labelled an anti-Semite like the authors, I highly recommend this sober, balanced and historical review of the affect of lobbying on our Middle East foreign policy:

 

"The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

The Environment
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • "The Next Little Thing?," a New York Times article from 9/10/08; in a similar vein check out "Chasing Utopia," an article from the same paper than ran on 5/17/08--if non-believers are doing this, what should we be doing?

 

 

 

 

 

  • "Cycling Back Around," a Washington Post article from 8/2/08 on the resurgence of the use of bicycles for commuting

 

  • "The Worst Way of Farming," this New York Times editorial from 5/31/08 exposes and criticizes the worst aspects of our industrial farming system

 

 

 

 

  • Finally, someone in the mainstream media gets it on climate change: "Why Bother?", a New York Times magazine article from 4/20/08

 

  • High oil and gasoline prices combined with a new will are creating hope in the area of alternative fuels: "Turning Glare into Watts"

 

  • President Bush puts "economic values and... personal comfort and well-being" above clean air according to "Ozone Rules Weakened at Bush's Behest," a Washington Post article from 3/14/08
 
 
Don't forget to check the "Faith & the Environment" page on this website, as well as my recent blog post with the same title!

Poverty/International Development

 

 

 

 

  • If these were Muslims wouldn't they be thrown under the jail, already?  If you're white and European it's respectable to do business in Angola ike this, and let someone else worry about the dead and maimed: "Guns, Dirty Money and French Elite on Trial," an AP story from 10/3/08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab-Israeli Conflict
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  • BBC News in Video: "Jaffa Stories;" the rare juxtaposition of Israelis and Palestinians living side by side examined against the backdrop of the nation's 60-year anniversary (need DSL or wireless)
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this regard, also see the following four blog posts on this site:

"Unacceptable Censorship?;" "The Israeli Land Grab in the West Bank;" "The Media's Treatment of the Abrahamic Faiths;" and "Christian Bias in Favor of Israel"

 

 

 

The Economy
 

 

 

 

  • "The World is Upside Down," an interesting take on the state of globalism that appeared as a New York Times op-ed on 6/2/08--what's God got going on here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What are the budgetary ramifications of the war in Iraq?  Explore in: "The $2 Trillion Nightmare," a New York Times op-ed from 3/4/08

 

Afghanistan: The Forgotten War
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Unique BBC interactive piece from last summer:  Afghan villagers answer questions from interested people from around the world about their lives and whether they're improving

 

 

 

Praise & Worship
 
"Make a joyful shout to the Lord ..."
 
Psalm 100:1
 
Far too often we have allowed praise and worship to become entertainment in church.  This is not the purpose. 
 
These "psalms" and prayers are love songs to God.  The goal is to invite the Holy Spirit to come and fill us anew.
 
I recently have picked up an instrument for the first time since grade school.  I was thinking that learning to make a joyful noise to the Lord might be a way to get closer to Him.
 
For those similarly inspired, anyone already involved in praise and worship, or parents contemplating starting their children on this path I have provided a few links.
 
 
For Instruments:

 

For Easy Sheet Music Downloads:

 
"...teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
 
Colossians 3:16
 
 
"I desire therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands..."
 
1 Timothy 2:8
 

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LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE  YOURSELF REQUIRES TOTAL LOVE, TOTAL FORGIVENESS, TOTAL BROTHERHOOD AND SUBVERTING THE DOMINANT PARADIGM