April 27, 2011

And They Got Their Wheat

The Burning of Troy
In the history of Ancient Greece, there is a legend regarding a large wooden horse. During the reign of King Menelaus, there arose a serious social problem – a shortage of wheat. Because of this, the king decided to take some ships and sail to nearby Troy, in what is now modern Turkey. Troy was located in Asia, near the Aegean and Black seas.

King Priam of Troy imposed a toll upon the Spartans, angering Menelaus. This disagreement erupted into a war, which was exacerbated, when Priam captured the king of Sparta’s wife, Helen.

When this happened, the Spartans were even more firm in their resolve to conquer Troy. For ten long and grueling years, the two city-states battled one another. But all for naught. A stalemate was the result.

Odysseus, faithful friend of Menelaus, suggested what he thought could break the stalemate. When the king heard his plan, it was decided that a large wooden horse be constructed in such a way as to house several Greek soldiers inside. The Greeks would roll it up to the gates of Troy, and the hope was that curious Trojans would want to investigate the horse, and even bring it inside the city walls.

A fellow of the Greeks named Sinon, was put in charge of this task. And so it happened at sundown of the day the enormous horse was finished, the Greek ships sailed out of Troy’s harbor.

To the Trojans, this was a sure sign of surrender and retreat on the Greeks’ part. Happiness filled the air as the citizens of Troy celebrated their freedom from embattlement after a decade of war. And to their cautious surprise, there on the hillside, not far from the city’s main gate, stood a mammoth of a horse.

Sinon, dressed as a beggar, humbly approached the general in charge, saying he had heard that the horse was a “gift of the god Athena.” When they heard this, it was decided that they bring the large horse into the city to be placed in front of the temple of Athena.

Interestingly, the Trojans held a large party in honor of the Trojan horse, gift of Athena. Yet were unaware of the danger lurking beneath its wooden mass. Those of Troy celebrated into the small hours of the morning. After every citizen had returned to his respective dwelling, Sinon alerted the Greek soldiers of the all-clear.

Once outside of the massive structure, the daring soldiers used torches to signal the Greek ships, located just out of Troy’s view. Sailing rapidly, their surprise attack was so swift and decisive as to completely overpower any Trojan resistance.

Finally after ten years of separation, Menelaus and his beloved Helen were reunited and the strife between Sparta Greece, and Troy ceased.

Sparta was victorious, and they got their wheat!

April 23, 2011

Picture Post


door way 
the perfect set 
blue eyes

Giving 'mother earth' human rights!?

UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.
Bolivia is planning to table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans.  The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.
The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.
That document speaks of the country's natural resources as "blessings," and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.
It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature's complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.
"If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?" Pablo Salon, Bolivia's ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. "But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance."
The application of the law appears destined to pose new challenges for companies operating in the country, which is rich in natural resources, including natural gas and lithium, but remains one of the poorest in Latin America.
But while Salon said his country just seeks to achieve "harmony" with nature, he signalled that mining and other companies may come under greater scrutiny.
"We're not saying, for example, you cannot eat meat because you know you are going to go against the rights of a cow," he said. "But when human activity develops at a certain scale that you (cause to) disappear a species, then you are really altering the vital cycles of nature or of Mother Earth. Of course, you need a mine to extract iron or zinc, but there are limits."
Bolivia is a country with a large indigenous population, whose traditional belief systems took on greater resonance following the election of Morales, Latin America's first indigenous president.
In a 2008 pamphlet his entourage distributed at the UN as he attended a summit there, 10 "commandments" are set out as Bolivia's plan to "save the planet" — beginning with the need "to end capitalism."
Reflecting indigenous traditional beliefs, the proposed global treaty says humans have caused "severe destruction . . . that is offensive to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother Earth is sacred."
It also says that "Mother Earth has the right to exist, to persist and to continue the vital cycles, structures, functions and processes that sustain all human beings."
In indigenous Andean culture, the Earth deity known as Pachamama is the centre of all life, and humans are considered equal to all other entities.
The UN debate begins two days before the UN's recognition April 22 of the second International Mother Earth Day — another Morales-led initiative.
Canadian activist Maude Barlow is among global environmentalists backing the drive with a book the group will launch in New York during the UN debate: Nature Has Rights.
"It's going to have huge resonance around the world," Barlow said of the campaign. "It's going to start first with these southern countries trying to protect their land and their people from exploitation, but I think it will be grabbed onto by communities in our countries, for example, fighting the tarsands in Alberta."
Ecuador, which also has a large indigenous population, has enshrined similar aims in its Constitution — but the Bolivian law is said to be "stronger."
Ecuador is among countries that have already been supportive of the Bolivian initiative, along with Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.

April 15, 2011

Kundalini Spirits in the church?

"1 O God, why have You cast us off forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
2 Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—
This Mount Zion where You have dwelt.
3 Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations.
The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
4 Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place;
They set up their banners for signs.
5 They seem like men who lift up
Axes among the thick trees.
6 And now they break down its carved work, all at once,
With axes and hammers.
7 They have set fire to Your sanctuary;
They have defiled the dwelling place of Your name to the ground.
8 They said in their hearts,
“Let us destroy them altogether.”
They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.
9 We do not see our signs;
There is no longer any prophet;
Nor is there any among us who knows how long.
10 O God, how long will the adversary reproach?
Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever?
11 Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?
Take it out of Your bosom and destroy them.
12 For God is my King from of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 You divided the sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the sea serpents in the waters.
14 You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces,
And gave him as food to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
15 You broke open the fountain and the flood;
You dried up mighty rivers.
16 The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
17 You have set all the borders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, that the enemy has reproached, O LORD,
And that a foolish people has blasphemed Your name.
19 Oh, do not deliver the life of Your turtledove to the wild beast!
Do not forget the life of Your poor forever.
20 Have respect to the covenant;
For the dark places of the earth are full of the haunts of cruelty.
21 Oh, do not let the oppressed return ashamed!
Let the poor and needy praise Your name.
22 Arise, O God, plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily.
23 Do not forget the voice of Your enemies;
The tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually."
Psalm 74:1-23

April 12, 2011

Worldview News

Item #1

Why is Fabian Socialist and Ecumenical Leader Tony Blair To Speak At Southern Baptist, Union University in Jackson, Tennessee? This is More Proof that Many Within the Church Are Accepting The Religious Trojan Horse
Ironically this university has tried to promote itself as a strong Biblical worldview university and yet they invite Tony Blair to speak who not only embraces Fabian Socialism but has organized the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to bring the religions of the world together. If you are not aware of the unbiblical, globalist, and socialist worldview of Tony Blair then watch the video provided in item #2 of this e-mail. In this press release Union University boasts of having had Mikhail Gorbachev as a speaker. Gorbachev is not only a promoter of pagan spirituality but is also one of the global leaders behind the promotion of the United Nation’s radical environmentalism. 

To read these stories look under our national and international news section at:

WSJ/NBC Poll: A Donald Trump Surprise.
Blair puts his faith in student dialogue
Glenn Beck to Leave Fox News Program
Inflation expectations worry US Federal Reserve officials
Gold spikes to fresh record on inflation fears Congress Passes Legislation To Repeal Obamacare Expansion of Form 1099 Reporting
U. president: Mormons should join ACLU

Item #2

Religious Trojan Horse: Fabian Socialism, Tony Blair, and Rick Warren 
By Brannon Howse  

Item #3

Religious Trojan Horse: Why the Office of Apostle and Prophet Has Ceased 
By Brannon Howse
Click here to order this 4 1/2 hour series on two DVDs http://www.worldviewweekend.com/secure/store/product.php?SessionID=&CustomerID=0&ProductID=1679 

Item #4

12 Warning Signs That Hyperinflation Is Imminent:
By Michael Weiner
1) The Federal Reserve is buying 70 percent of U.S. Treasuries. In recent months, central bank purchases of U.S. treasuries have declined from 50 percent to 30 percent, while Fed purchases have increased from 10 percent to 70 percent. 

Item #5

Worldview Weekend Radio with Brannon Howse
Christian authors, speakers, and pastors have appeared on DVD that teaches the law of attraction. How can the people appearing on the DVD, “The Source of the Secret”, say you need to look behind the source of the false teaching to Jesus Christ or to God? What Jesus or God are they talking about? It is certainly not the Jesus or God of the Bible. The message that came across to those of us that watched the DVD and read the transcript is that the new age book and DVD the “Secret” was a positive thing but that people need to meet the “God” behind the law of attraction that was presented in the new age book and DVD. How can these people be saying that The Secret is a good thing when it is clearly false teaching as Kerby Anderson revealed in his excellent article on our website in July of 2007 titled, "The False Teaching of The Secret"? How can the people appearing on the DVD, The Source of the Secret, say you need to look behind the source of the false teaching to Jesus Christ or to God? God is not the source of false teaching. What Jesus or God are they talking about? It is certainly not the Jesus or God of the Bible. Does this not reveal just how far the church and its leaders in America have sunk? 

Item #6

Designer gods
By Randy White
Who says idol worship is no longer in vogue? The religious world is overflowing with false gods receiving false worship under false pretenses. And I'm talking about Christianity, not Hinduism, animism, Islam, or paganism.

Item #7

Agenda 21 In One Easy Lesson
By Tom DeWeese
Awareness of Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development is racing across the nation as citizens in community after community are learning what their city planners are actually up to. As awareness grows, I am receiving more and more calls for tools to help activists fight back. Many complain that elected officials just won't read detailed reports or watch long videos. "Can you give us something that is quick, and easy to read that we can hand out," I'm asked. 

Item #8

Is Masonry A Cult?
By John Ankerberg
Theologically, Masonry may be classified as a cult from the perspective of biblical revelation. If we define a cult as a religious group which claims compatibility with Christian faith but deviates seriously from orthodox Christianity in doctrine and practice, Masonry qualifies. In addition, there are certain historic associations, levels of initiation and levels of interpretation of Masonry that reveal a more broad-based cultic nature. 

Item #9

The "Jesus" of the Cults
By Ron Carlson and Jason Carlson
In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus' disciples came to him and asked, "Tell us, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" In responding to this question, it's very interesting what Jesus identified as the foremost sign of his second coming and of the end of the age, "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."

Item #10

Is Your Church New Age, Emergent, or Christian?
By Eric Barger
For decades authentic Bible-believers have watched - and battled - the slow advancement of paganism inside the Church. This phenomenon is surely becoming much more pronounced today. Right under our noses, there is now a bold blending of holy faith with demonic influence. This synthesis of two opposing worldviews is nothing short of a satanic strategy meant to blur and twist the distinctions which separate real Christianity and New Age beliefs and activities. Though I have chronicled this on numerous occasions, the fact cannot be overstated that just as the so-called mainline denominations abandoned the Bible to follow the siren song of liberal inclusiveness a century or more ago, modern Evangelicals are now blissfully embracing paganism in what appears to be an astounding race towards judgment before an unchanging, immovable God. Yes, I said "Evangelicals" are becoming paganized.

April 9, 2011


This is simply amazing!

Remebering Bonhoeffer

Today is the anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's death, 66 years ago.  I would like to remember this remarkable man, and his impact upon our world.

"Dietrich and his twin sister Sabine were born on February 4, 1906, in Breslau Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland).  His mother was descended from the famous nineteenth-century church historian, Karl von Hase, and his father, Karl Ludwig Bonhoeffer, was a noted physician and soon to be professor of psychiatry at the University of Berlin. 
By age sixteen, Dietrich had decided to enter the ministry of the church.  The decision gained little comment from his parents, but his brothers opposed it.  His brother Klaus attempted to impress him with the purely provincial nature of the Protestant church in Germany and regretted that his brother should give his life to a superfluous cause.  With resolution Dietrich replied, "If the Church is feeble, I shall reform it."  However facetious his reply might have been, it was portentous of the future way Bonhoeffer felt about the church's needs.
Karl Friedrich, another brother, talked with Dietrich about science and the universe it held up to behold, but at this point Dietrich would have nothing to do with science.  When he could not argue against Karl Friedrich he simply commented, "You may knock my block off, but I shall still believe in God."  It was not until the years of his imprisonment that he seriously began to come to terms with science.  This is one reason the Letters and Papers often sound so revolutionary.
Bonhoeffer began his study at Tubingen, but after a year moved to the University of Berlin in 1924.  At Berlin, Bonhoeffer encountered a galaxy of erudite but often liberal scholars.  Here Adolf Deissmann had made his contribution to New Testament studies.  Hans Lietzmann was teaching the history of the early church, and Adolf von Harnack, Karl Holl, and Reinhold Seeberg were in one way or another connected with theology.  Seeberg was the man under whom Bonhoeffer worked for the licentiate of theology, a degree comparable to the doctor of theology. 
 In 1927, Bonhoeffer submitted his dissertation, Sanctorum Communio: A Dogmatic Investigation of the Sociology of the Church, to the faculty of the University of Berlin.  This work was praised as a "theological miracle" by Karl Barth and was published three years later.
 After his formal theological training at the university, Dietrich went to Barcelona, Spain, where he served in a position comparable to an assistant minister on an intern basis with a German-speaking congregation.  His ability to relate to people of diverse conditions became apparent here in this congregation of small businessmen whose religious and cultural advancements had been small.  As he worked with the elderly pastor and shared his life with the congregation, the church was resurrected in spirit and doubled in size.  He started a service for children and a study group for boys in the sixth form (the last year) of their education.  He gave pastoral care to the people and preached every two weeks.  He became very attached to the people, and they returned the affection.
Upon his return to Berlin in 1929, Dietrich worked on his inaugural dissertation, a requisite for being permitted a faculty position in theology.  In 1930, after completing Act and Being: Transcendental Philosophy and Ontology in Systematic Theology, he was given a position teaching systematic theology. 
Before getting to the serious work of teaching, Bonhoeffer came to America for a year of study at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, on a Sloane fellowship. At Union also, he became aware of the growing problem of the Negro in America.  He visited with Negros in Harlem and attended a large Negro Baptist church (Abyssinian Baptist Church, pastored by Adam Clayton Powell, Sr.
By 1931, although he had enjoyed his stay in America, he was ready to return home and begin his period of lecturing at the University of Berlin.  As a beginning lecturer, he had to depend upon his ability to attract students.  They came out of curiosity at first.  One student recalled, "He looked like a student himself when he went to the desk.  But then our attention was so much riveted by what he had to say, that we no longer came for the sake of the very young man, but for the sake of his subject."  Except for the enjoyment of the students, Bonhoeffer led a rather lonely life in the unbending liberalism of the university.  His independence of mind plus his affinity for Barth's theology made him suspect among the old-line theological liberals.
The year after his return to Germany brought momentous events in his life.  In the summer of 1931 he journeyed to Bonn (Germany) and met Karl Barth.  His only regret was that he had not come sooner.  A mutually respectful relationship grew through the years as indicated from the extant correspondence and Barth's references in Church Dogmatics to Bonhoeffer's published works.  Barth's extremely critical letter about Bonhoeffer's later move to London could only have been written by a real friend. 
He became student pastor at the Technical College in Berlin, and at the same time was requested to take over a confirmation class of fifty rowdy boys who lived in one of the roughest areas of Berlin.  As the elderly pastor and young Dietrich ascended the stairs of the multi-storied building where the boys were, the children dropped rubbish on the two men below.  At the top of the stairs the pastor tried to gain attention by shouting an introduction of Bonhoeffer.  Some of the children only heard the word "Bon" and began to chant it, until the bewildered, frustrated old pastor left.
At first Dietrich stood in silence against the wall while the boys chanted.  Then he began to speak softly to those near him.  Out of curiosity the others began to be quiet.  When the noise had subsided, he told them a story about Harlem and promised more next time if they behaved. Not only did he win their attention for class instruction, but he moved into their neighborhood for two months to live among them.  This most "hopeless" class was carried to its completion, and many of the boys remained long-time friends.

In the fall of 1932, he began a series of lectures which were later published as Creation and Fall.

The elections in Germany in 1932 brought about the Nazi rise to power, and the stage was set for the German church struggle.  Bonhoeffer aligned himself with the evangelical opposition to Hitler.  This alignment ultimately cost him his life.

In 1933 he gave a series of lectures on Christology which were never completed, nor published, except as they were reconstructed from the notes of students, and published under the title Christ the Center.  Following the summer session, Bonhoeffer took a leave of absence from the university and went to London to be minister of two German-speaking congregations.  During this interim period in London, Bonhoeffer attended the World Alliance of Churches meeting in Fano (Denmark).  Germany was represented only by the Deutsche Christians ("German Christians"), the pro-Hitler group.  The council, due in part to Bonhoeffer's influence, denounced the "German Christians" and aligned its sympathies with the Confessing Church. 
These plans (to travel to India in the hope of meeting and observing Gandhi's community) were interrupted by a call from the Confessing Church to come home and assume the leadership of an "illegal" seminary for training ministers.  The call of duty won out over the desire to go to India, and he returned to a most dangerous task in Germany.
The seminary was eventually located at Finkenwalde (now Zdorje Poland), a tiny village south of Settin on the Oder River in what was then Pomerania and is now Poland.  There Bonhoeffer instituted a new type of theological education.  He organized the students into a community with a "proper balance between work and worship, the academic and the practical, discipline and freedom."  The curriculum of the seminary provided for lectures by Bonhoeffer, reading of books, pastoral duties such as visitation, times of worship and confession of sin.  Extracurricular community involvement included just plain fun, singing, doing dishes, and cleaning house.  The experiences of the "brother-house" were recorded in Gemeinsames Leben (Life Together), published in 1939. 
As his work progressed, Bonhoeffer attempted to retain his teaching post at the University of Berlin and did so until August 5, 1936, when it was withdrawn because of his opposition to Hitler's innovations in the church.  His immperturbability was expressed in his comment, "I have long ceased to believe in the University." 
At Finkenwalde romance entered his life.  Maria von Wedemeyer was seventeen years younger than he.  Their first meeting was without meaning.  She was only one among several grandchildren of Ruth von Kleist-Ritzow, a well-to-do, spiritually minded widow who attended church at the seminary.  
Shortly after their (Dietrich and Maria's) engagement he was imprisoned.  She saw him at least once a month in prison, and letters were exchanged as permission was allowed.  Their engagement was a source of delight to him.  Her visits formed a feeling of anticipation he treasured.  He always wanted to know of her coming in advance, for without knowing he was cheated "out of the joy of anticipation and that is a very necessary part of your visit."
 During the troubled days of the late thirties, Bonhoeffer spoke a number of times on the subject of the "Visible and Invisible Church."  The theme is one that had held his interest from his student days.  He was very much concerned with the inner life, the question of communion, and the confession of the church. 
Bonhoeffer's first popular work was published in 1937.  As a study of the Sermon on the Mount Nachfolge (The Cost of Discipleship) harshly criticizes "cheap grace" which churches had been preaching, and calls for "costly" discipleship to Jesus Christ.  In this same year the seminary was officially disbanded by the government, but it nevertheless maintained an underground existence until 1940.
Friends of Bonhoeffer's (Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Lehmann) tried to persuade him to come to America and were successful for a short time.  Bonhoeffer was appointed to the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary for an indefinite period of time, and arrived in the United States on June 12, 1939.  But the safety of America was too much for him, and he was back in Germany on July 25.
Bonhoeffer's diary records two different episodes during this brief period: "I do not understand why I am here.... The short prayer in which we thought of our German brothers almost overwhelmed me.... If things become more uncertain, I shall not stay in America...."  Later, after his decision to return home, he wrote, "Since I came on board ship, my mental turmoil about the future has gone."
Bonhoeffer escaped military service by serving as a courier in the Abwehr (German Military Intelligence Agency), and thus was able to enjoy certain freedoms from the interference of the Gestapo.  Certain members of the Abwehr opposed Hitler, and eventually planned to assassinate him.  Bonhoeffer came to accept the full implications of the resistance movement, justifying his position as follows: "It is not only my task to look after the victims of madmen who drive a motorcar in a crowded street, but to do all in my power to stop their driving at all."
Details of the plot against Hitler were worked out minutely for each person to have alibis for his actions.  However, the rival spying arm of the Gestapo had been hoping to discredit leaders of the Abwehr on trumped up charges of bribery (and money laundering) for helping Jews to escape Germany (called Operation 7), or in the case of Bonhoeffer, of evading the draft.  It was presumably on this charge that he was arrested on April 5, 1943.  Two men arrived at his father's house in Berlin requesting to see Dietrich in his room.  Without a search warrant or notice of arrest, Bonhoeffer was ordered to accompany them.  He was taken to Tegel Military Prison in Berlin.  At first conditions were extremely bad - the blankets, for instance, were too smelly to use.  But after it was known who he was, his position improved (thanks to his Uncle, Paul von Hase, who was military Commandant of Tegel). 
Six months were to drag by before he was given a warrant for his arrest.  The alibis of the plotters were all in order, and each played his part well.  Bonhoeffer was able to have communication with the outside by means of coded messages passed in books and food parcels.  Good-hearted guards made it possible for members of the family to visit and keep him informed. 
Bonhoeffer spent eighteen months in Tegel Prison.  Here he wrote the letters later incorporated into the intriguing work Letters and Paper from Prison (or as some editions title it, Prisoner for God).  In passing the long hours of imprisonment, Bonhoeffer read the Bible and works ranging over such diverse subjects as literature, science, philosophy, theology, and history.  Much of his reading related to the nineteenth-century cultural heritage of Germany.
In July 1944, another attempt on Hitler's life failed (commonly know as the July 20th plot, or the Stauffenberg plot; the film Valkyrie showcases this plot).  Several had been made from various sources.  The Gestapo's desire to incriminate the Abwehr was fulfilled in a dramatic way with the finding of the Abwehr's secret file in Zossen (chronicling the Nazi atrocities) just two months later.  The news spread quickly through the secret grapevine of the Abwehr, and Bonhoeffer heard it.  Escape was the reaction to the news, and a plan had been made for some time.  Arrangements were made with a friendly guard, and Bonhoeffer was to live "underground" until the destruction of Hitler came.  Details were set in operation but halted when Dietrich's brother Klaus was arrested.  The plan was jettisoned for fear that his family would be the scapegoats for his escape.
After finding the Zossen documents, Bonhoeffer was transferred to the Gestapo prison on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse.  Now along with others he was tortured to squeeze out information on collaborators.  The evidence already on hand was enough to have them shot, but Hitler desired to ferret out all conspirators, and this desire prolonged their lives.  Bonhoeffer remained on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse until February 1945, when he was removed secretly to Buchenwald.  On February 7, the guards assembled twenty of the most important prisoners and ordered them into two vehicles.  Bonhoeffer was among them.
Payne Best, one of the survivors of Buchenwald (and a captured British intelligence officer), described Bonhoeffer during this time: "Bonhoeffer was different; just quite calm and natural, seemingly perfectly at ease... his soul really shone in the dark desperation of our prison."  Bonhoeffer served as unofficial chaplain to many of the men of various nationalities.  His spirit was gentle, and he became "the man for others" during the crucial days of Buchenwald.  Best affirms, "He was one of the very few men I have ever met to whom God was real, and ever close to him."
On April 3, a lumbering enclosed vehicle pulled up to load seventeen prisoners including Bonhoeffer.  Destination: Flossenburg, an extermination camp in the Bavarian forest.  The vehicle was turned away because the prison was full, and this raised the men's hopes temporarily.  For a short time they were imprisoned in Schonberg, until two men appeared before the open door of Bonhoeffer's cell and called out: "Prisoner Bonhoeffer, get ready to come with us."
He moved quickly to place certain mementos in the hands of friends with instructions concerning them.  He wrote his name in the beginning, middle, and end of a work of Plutarch - a book eventually returned to the Bonhoeffer family.  He sent special greetings by Payne Best to his old friend, the Bishop of Chichester (George Bell): "This is the end - for me the beginning of life."
At Flossenburg, on April 8, a court martial met in full session.  Dietrich was "tried" and sentenced to death - all in one night!  The camp doctor of Flossenburg recorded this impression of the events:
On the morning of that day [April 9] between five and six o'clock the prisoners, among them Admiral Canaris (former head of the Abwehr), General (Hans) Oster, General Thomas and Reichgerichstrat (Judge) Sack were taken from their cells, and the verdicts of the court martial read out to them.  Through the half-open door in one room of the huts I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, before taking off his prison garb, kneeling on the floor praying fervently to his God.  I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer.  At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. In the almost fifty years that I have worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.
Of death, we know what Bonhoeffer’s thoughts were:  In a sermon he preached while a pastor in London, he said:
No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward joyfully to being released from bodily existence.
Whether we are young or old makes no difference.  What are twenty or thirty or fifty years in the sight of God?  And which of us knows how near he or she may already be to the goal?  That life only really begins when it ends here on earth, that all that is here is only the prologue before the curtain goes up – that is for young and old alike to think about.  Why are we so afraid when we think about death?…  Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it.  Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word.  Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves.  Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him.  Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace.

How do we know that dying is so dreadful?  Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world?
Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith.  But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.
Of these events, the family of Bonhoeffer knew nothing.  A month later (May 7, 1945), Nazi Germany fell.  Communication was difficult, and search was made for news of him.  Geneva was the first to hear the news which was passed on to Bishop Bell.  The elder Bonhoeffers were listening to the radio from London on July 27 (1945) when an English voice spoke: "We are gathered here in the presence of God to make thankful remembrance of the life and work of His servant Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who gave his life in faith and obedience to His holy word...."
With Bonhoeffer's death the church - and the world - was deprived both of a powerful intellect and of a creative Christian." 
 All notes contained within the parentheses ( ) are my own.  
 Source: http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=2737&C=2484 
Source: http://www.ericmetaxas.com/books/bonhoeffer-pastor-martyr-prophet-spy-a-righteous-gentile-vs-the-third-reich/

April 7, 2011

The Proverbs 7 woman

This morning in my personal devotions, I was reading Proverbs 7 (since today is the 7th), and again read those familiar words describing the Proverbs 7 woman - the one we are told to avoid.

Here are some of my observations:

  • She is shameless about her "dirty little secret" (vs. 10, 13)
  • She is described as "loud and rebellious"; and as a busy body, one who doesn't have any self-control (vs. 11-12)
  • She makes the man feel special, though selling her body for sex is her trade (vs. 14-15)
  • She makes sure the bedroom is attractive to her buyers eye (vs. 16-17)
  • She creates an aura of "love", when in reality, lust, immoral sexual desire, is all that lies at the heart of her trade (vs. 18)
  • She makes it apparent that she is married, but it's okay because her husband is away, and she knows when he will return, so it's safe to "play around until the appointed day," so-to-speak (vs. 19-20)
  • She is compared with a flatterer (vs. 21)
  • Those who go to her are like: a senseless ox prepared for slaughter (vs. 21), a fool (vs. 21), a bird hastening to a snare (vs. 22), and like one shot with an arrow in the liver (vs. 22)
  • She has: cast down many wounded (vs. 26), slain many strong men (vs. 27)
  • Her house leads to hell, descending to the chambers of death (vs. 28)
  • We are to: not turn aside our hearts to her way (vs. 25), not stray into her paths (vs. 25) 
If we heed verses 1-5, we gain a better understanding of how to combat "lady lust"

"My son, keep my words,
      And treasure my commands within you.
       2 Keep my commands and live,
      And my law as the apple of your eye.
       3 Bind them on your fingers;
      Write them on the tablet of your heart.
       4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
      And call understanding your nearest kin,
       5 That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
      From the seductress who flatters with her words."   Proverbs 7:1-5
And let me say as a woman, that these words are not just for the men in our midst, we can also learn the important lessons portrayed in these powerful verses! 

April 6, 2011


Bridal wreath