Sunday, February 28, 2010

For All the Saints

"For All the Saints"  by William How  is sung to the tune Sine Nomine.The hymn is about the communion of the saints, the concept that in Christ we are united to all those faithful who have gone before and to all those yet to come.

 Below are eleven stanzas -- all good.

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. (Psa 75:1)

Yesterday the insurance adjuster (Steve) came to the house to look at the car. We had prayed for a just settlement in terms of Scriptural principles (Exodus 22).

He looked the car over and then he set about working with me to get the most from the company without totaling the car. As you can imagine, a 1992 Toyota is not worth much, but the check (should arrive Monday or Tuesday) will equal (or exceed the Kelley Blue Book value of the car).

I shook hands with Steve before he left and told him he would be in my prayers that day. He said, "Are you a Christian, then?" I told him I was, and he said his father had been a minister.

Anyway, I want to thank all of you for your prayers, and I invite you to also give thanks to the covenant-keeping God who, despite my faltering faith, has once again shown Himself gracious to those upon whom He has set His love.

We're not out of the woods yet, though, because even though I rec'd more than I had hoped, it's difficult to find safe & reliable transportation for that amount. (And, frankly, I think my present vehicle is too far gone to repair.)

Thanks to all who have held us up in prayer, and I ask you to continue with the following requests:
  1. That God will bless Steve for treating me as he would want to be treated;
  2. That we will end up with a good, safe reliable vehicle;
  3. That the medical settlement for my back (thankfully, it seems to be principally soft tissue damage to the muscles) will be fair and just;
  4. That God will receive glory and praise before men for these events.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Prayer Requests

Last Thursday, I had just stopped at a traffic signal when another vehicle plowed into the rear of my car. The impact sent my vehicle right through the intersection. Thankfully, the light had just turned red & the cross-traffic had not yet started through the intersection.

The forces of momentum broke the back of the driver's seat & bent the small of my back over the little hump where the seat broke. The back pain was incredible for several minutes afterward. I was also shaken by the experience.

I am thankful that a really kind lady stopped & offered her cell phone so I could call 911. I got her first name (Victoria), but did not have it together enough to ask her contact information.

The responding officer reported the other driver at fault, but also issued me a "subpoena ticket" to appear as a witness in the case against him on April 6. Call me paranoid, but I'd never heard of issuing a subpoena to the victim in a car accident before, so I'm a little leery about this court appearance.

Although my car is operable, I do not consider it safe to drive. The other driver's insurance company (Allstate) will pay for a rental vehicle, but I would have to pay $15/day collision insurance, which I simply cannot afford.

Two people who know something of the insurance industry have told me that Allstate is the absolute worst company at settling claims. The adjuster is supposed to come to my house to look at the car by Thursday of this week.

A lady from our church gave us a ride to Sunday school & worship yesterday. One of the deacons from our church has graciously offered to drive me to the chiropractor's office for my appointment this afternoon.

As a side note, just to show how sharp the impact was, there is an ash tray under the dash of our car with a cup holder in front of it. Although there was a water bottle in the cup holder directly in front of the ash tray, the ash tray was popped right out of the dash & landed on the passenger-side floor. That ash tray has a catch & you could pull on it all day without getting it out of the dash unless you depressed the catch, but it popped out in a split second at the time of the collision.

I would appreciate it if you, my readers and fellow Christian Martialists would pray for me regarding the following matters:

1) Thanks to God for the many graces in this difficulty, including the fact that in God's providence my daughter's voice lesson had been canceled (otherwise she would have been in the car with me), the great showing of concern & kindness from my fellow believers, the fact that God's Word assures us that He is working all things for His glory and the good of those whom He calls.

2) I told Victoria, "I'll pray for you tonight," because of her willingness to come to my aid; please pray for God's manifest grace in her life in every way; also for God's blessing on CG, the deacon who is providing me with transportation help this week and on JE who gave us a ride to church & just called to say she had unexpectedly won a gift card & would like to give it to us; also for my pastor & all from church who have given encouragement; also for J.D, a Christian neighbor who has given us good information & advice.

3) For a favorable settlement from the insurance company; it would be impossible for me to come out even if all they give me is "book value" of my '92 Toyota.

I will also thank you for your patience as I may not post as frequently for the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Guns, Less Crime

The title should actually read: More Guns in the Hands of Trained Gun-Owners, Less Crime

I stumbled upon the video below & thought you'd like to see it. It's about firearms policy in Switzerland.

After the video, I reproduced the video description by crutley2.

When thinking about the mass extermination camps of a holocaust think..

The key to freedom is to be able to have the ability to defend yourself &, if you dont have the tools to do that, then youre going to be at the mercy of whomever wants to put you away.

Guns are deeply rooted within Swiss culture - but the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.

The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols.

This is in a very large part due to Switzerland's unique system of national defence, developed over the centuries.

Instead of a standing, full-time army, the country requires every man to undergo some form of military training for a few days or weeks a year throughout most of their lives.

Can you say, "Appleseed?" I've never been to one, but I can see where I SHOULD.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Defending against a Knife Attack, 5

Continued from "Defending against a Knife Attack, 4"

A couple of weeks ago, a couple from church came over on a Saturday for a meal & some fellowship. The wives & my daughter decided to take a walk while we menfolk worked on soldering some components into a circuit for a project I have in mind.

Before they left, I reminded Laura that we had seen a stray dog hanging around the area where they planned to walk.

(Some people evidently think it's more humane to drop their unwanted pets off in a rural area than to take them to an animal shelter. The dogs turn feral & become a dangerous nuisance, especially if they team with one or more others. Laura & I have been stalked by feral dogs on our walks, and it can be rather unsettling. While I've never had to hit an animal, I have more than once raised a cane as I turned to face a stalking dog that was closing in. In each case, the critter backed off.)

When they left, all three women were carrying walking sticks of one kind or another. They walked four or five miles without encountering any wandering canines, but a stick in the hand can provide comfort in the face of predators.

If the predator goes on two legs and carries a knife, the cane can still give comfort & protection. Here are some pluses for using a cane to defend against a knife:
  1. A cane is already in your hand -- you don't have to draw or retrieve it;
  2. A cane gives extended reach, which can keep you out of the effective range of a knife;
  3. When used with a whip-like action, the tip of the cane can tear flesh;
  4. With a cane, you can develop adequate defense skills in days and weeks rather than over years;
  5. With more training, you can use a cane as a grappling tool to apply leverage to joints & nerves.
Now here are some minuses:
  1. In some jurisdictions, you must have a doctor's prescription in order to carry a cane, lest ordinary citizens have any kind of means for self-protection;
  2. The length of a cane can make it easier for an assailant to grab & wrest it from your grip;
  3. An over-committed swing with a cane means an opportunity for an assailant to attack while you recover.
A word about sword canes: I know they look cool and all, but there are two circumstances in which a sword cane can get you in trouble: 1) If you use it and 2) if you don't. LEO tend to take a dim view of concealed weapons & of edged weapons. You might make an argument that you use the machete in your truck as an agricultural tool, but the sword cane is a concealed weapon plain & simple that will get you in trouble with authorities.

It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

More ideas on weapons to use against a knife in another post.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

God's War

I refuse to be comforted. I refuse to listen to sermons that assure me that “whatever happens, God is in control.” I refuse to read and listen to pastors, authors, and leaders that comfort me with God’s peace when everywhere around me I see God’s war.
-- Bojidar Marinov

The passage above is quoted from the article "I Refuse to Be Comforted" by the Rev. Bojidar Marinov. I recommend you click on the link & read the whole message.

This reminds me of the hymn "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" which is usually sung to the tune All Saints. In the movie "The Man Who Would be King", the hymn is sung to an old Irish tune called The Moreen, which I think fits the words very well.

To follow the words (below) as the melody plays, right-click on the links above & then choose "open in another tab".

Finally, there is the melody which is becoming my favorite for this hymn: Greyoaks. You can follow the words below as you play the video which uses this tune.

The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain;
His blood red banner streams afar:
Who follows in His train?
Who best can drink his cup of woe,
Triumphant over pain,
Who patient bears his cross below,
He follows in His train.

That martyr first, whose eagle eye
Could pierce beyond the grave;
Who saw his Master in the sky,
And called on Him to save.
Like Him, with pardon on His tongue,
In midst of mortal pain,
He prayed for them that did the wrong:
Who follows in His train?

A glorious band, the chosen few
On whom the Spirit came;
Twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew,
And mocked the cross and flame.
They mocked the tyrant’s brandished steel,
The lion’s gory mane;
They bowed their heads the death to feel:
Who follows in their train?

A noble army, men and boys,
The matron and the maid,
Around the Savior’s throne rejoice,
In robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of Heav’n,
Through peril, toil and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given,
To follow in their train.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya . . ."

"Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father; prepare to die," is just one of the great and memorable lines from one of my favorite films. 

The Princess Bride is a classic, which I commend to Christian Martialists everywhere. Unintentionally -- I assume -- the secular humanists (many of whom come from Jewish backgrounds) have put together an epic tale that borrows many elements from the story of redemption as found on the pages of the Old and New Testaments.

George Grant has said that all great stories borrow themes from the One Story (redemption). You can find many allusions to the One Story in the film.

There is the theme of the bride and the bridegroom (who is absent for a long time, so that the bride's faithfulness wavers). The bridegroom's faithfulness: his death and resurrection because of his love & desire to rescue the bride. That's probably the most central theme from the One Story that you can find in The Princess Bride, but there are others.

Isn't it about time to watch (or watch again) the movie & see how many of the themes & allusions you can find that are "borrowed" from the One Story?

By the way, I thought you might enjoy this Yerzies T-shirt design found by my daughter Raquel:

Friday, February 12, 2010

One Man's Stupidity Unveils Another's Courage

Thanks to Deolexrex for sending me the link to this article.

The words of Glen Rhodes as reported on the CarteachO blog:

I was shot point blank in the chest Friday the 13th of July 2007, the bullet entered near the front edge of my left armpit about 4 in. to the left of my left nipple and about 2 in above it. The bullet traveled through my left lung destroying about 30% of it then the bullet nicked my aorta and heart sack it then ricocheted of of the inside front of my ribcage. It then tore through my diaphragm leaving a 3 in by 2 in hole in my diaphragm. From there it tore through my stomach destroying 3 acid ducts and causing me to lose about 20% of my stomach. From there the bullet nicked my liver and spleen then it traveled through the back third of my spinal cord canal from about the middle of T11 on my left side to about the middle of T12 where it exited my spinal canal and traveled about another inch to my right parallel with the skin of my back and came to rest. The bullet was a Speer Gold dot 9mm that was fired from a Glock model 17.

Read the full story for the circumstances of the shooting, who saved his life (a fantastic side story), the tragic consequences of one careless moment, and the courage, objectivity and forgiveness wrapped up in the heart of one incredible warrior:

A Cautionary Tale for Shooters

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Defending against a Knife Attack, 4

Continued from "Defending against a Knife Attack, 3"

What potential weapons can I carry in my hand that will meet my criteria for defending against a knife? It's obvious that, even if you have a CCW, brandishing a handgun every time you enter a parking garage or walk down a dark street will sooner or later get you into trouble with law enforcement officers (LEO) -- a fact of life, no matter how unjust or sad.

You might want to revert to Keith Pascal's tactic of having your knife in your hand in potentially dangerous situations. But this must become an ingrained, unfailing habit. And you must develop (and maintain) the skills you need to use your knife in self defense.

I believe a properly-chosen impact weapon will serve to protect against a knife attack without the drawbacks associated with using handguns or edged weapons in defense. If you choose wisely, you will be able to carry it wherever you go without arousing the suspicions of civilians or LEO.

Warrior has already interacted on this subject in the comments section of the previous post.

In the next post, I want to talk about the pluses and minuses of cane vs. knife.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Call Me Madam", 3

Continued from "Call Me Madam", 2

The story so far: I have made the trek up the mist-shrouded mountain to ask the great master of ancient and modern combat skills about love and marriage as it relates to the warrior. I told him about how my mother & I watched "Call Me Madam" in 1968, and I aroused his suspicion that I might be some kind of pansy by singing "You're Just in Love" from that [musical] movie.

"Well, Master," I continued, "A couple of days after we watched the movie "Call Me Madam", I went with a group of students on a summer missions trip to Mexico. We distributed literature, held meetings, and came down with 'Montezuma's Revenge'.

"I even preached through an interrupter . . . er, interpreter in a one-room schoolhouse."

"Missions is good, Clodhopper, but is there a point to all this?"

"Yes, there is. I met this girl who was also on the missions team. She made a  big impression on me. So much so, that when we got back to the 'States, I called home to tell my folks.

"Well, my mom & dad were not home, & my brother answered the phone. I asked him to give a message to our mother, and I quoted the song. I said, 'Tell Mom that I smell blossoms and the trees are bare.'"

"You're not going to sing again, Clodhopper!?" It was more a command than a question.

"No, no. I'm not going to sing (but any readers who missed the song can find it in my previous post). But, anyhow, my mom & dad knew what the message meant: I had met a girl - someone special."

To be continued

Friday, February 5, 2010

Defending against a Knife Attack, 3

Continued from "Defending against a Knife Attack, 2"

Now I want to address the first part of Stephen's remarks:

For some time I have been of the opinion that knives are rarely practical for self defense. If I were in a self defense situation, I would much rather have a cane or some object longer than a knife to battle an assailant with.

I also came to this conclusion some time ago. Here are my reasons:
  1. Longer reach, as Stephen said;
  2. A cane or similar object will already be in your hand -- no need to retrieve a weapon in the midst of an attack.
Think in terms of the improvised weapons video I posted here last month. What can you carry that will in your hand that will serve as a weapon in defense against a knife? A cane? A book? A rolled-up magazine?

Begin thinking about this. I will share some more of my thoughts, soon.

To be continued

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Security on the Road

A while back, RPC sent me the link to this ABC News story. It reveals that defensive driving has to do with more than avoiding the mistakes of careless or preoccupied drivers.

Criminals Crash, Victims Pay

(Sorry, couldn't find a version without a commercial)

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Call Me Madam", 2

 Continued from "Call Me Madam"

So far: Recently watching "Call Me Madam" has motivated me to ascend the mist-shrouded mountain in order to ask the great master of ancient combat arts about love and marriage in a warrior's life.

The master raises himself to the fullness of his imposing height, folds his arms and stares at me critically. Although the Model 1911 that he always carries is hidden in the folds of his great kilt, the two-handed sword  slung over his back and the dirk in his stocking give him a menacing appearance as I begin my story.

"In August of 1968, I went to Mexico as part of a student summer missions team. A couple of nights before I left, my mother and I stayed up to watch the movie "Call Me Madam" on television."

The master rolls his eyes and says, "I hope you're not going to give me a detailed account of your life since 1968."

"No . . . no, of course not. Anyway, there was this song in the movie . . . "

"It's a MUSICAL???" The master eyes me suspiciously.

"Yessir, it's a musical. And Ethel Merman & Donald O'Conner sing this duet: 'You're Just in Love'. . . Let me sing it for you."

Long pause as the master just stares at me. Finally he says with an arched brow, "You're a nancy-boy, aren't you?"

"No," I protest, "Really, I'm not." The master lets me continue, but the suspicion in his eyes does not diminish.

To be continued.