Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Still Of The Night

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Though it was not an official cease-fire, it happened.

About 100,000 British, Canadian, French and German soldiers simply stopped fighting all along the 500-mile Western Front during World War I.

It is said on December 24th, 1914, in the middle of a freezing battlefield in France, a miracle happened.

The British troops watched in amazement as candle-lit "Christmas" trees began to appear above the German trenches. The troops were so close to their enemy that Christmas Eve they could hear them talking among themselves.

Henry Williamson, a young soldier with the London Regiment wrote in his diary:

"From the German parapet, a rich baritone voice had begun to sing a song I remembered my German nurse singing to me---the grave and tender voice rose out of the frozen mist. It was all so strange---like being in another world---to which one had come through a nightmare."

Silent Night
Holy Night
All is calm
All is [quiet]

Williamson's diary entry ended noting that troops from both sides sang carols, "It was really a most extraordinary thing---two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war."

It is recorded that all along the 500-mile Front, enemy soldiers greeted each other in the "no-man's land" that was a killing field the day before.

It was also recorded by men at the scene that hundreds of thousands of soldiers celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace among the bodies of the dead.

It was a miracle.

Author Stormie Omartian in her book, "The Power of Christmas Prayer," says although we normally focus on the power of Christmas for a few weeks before Christmas, then put in on the shelf for the next 12 months, there is meaning in it for every day of our lives.

"It is a message of hope," she writes, "that says God always remembers His promises and fulfills them in His perfect timing."

She reminds us that the power of the Christmas story, "tells us that God uses ordinary people who love Him to do extraordinary things."

It also reminds us that God is over all things. When men can't find peace through treaties and agreements, it is found in simple recognition and acceptance of the true message of Christmas.

It reminds us that God is faithful and keeps His promises. God kept His promise to send the Messiah and He will keep His promises to you.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

May the peace of Christ fill your heart now and each day of your life.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do You Hear The Bells?

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His wife was fatally burned in the library of their home in Cambridge, Mass.

He had run to help his wife---the love of his life, and extinguish the fire, but in his failed attempt had himself been severely burned on his face and neck, resulting in his not being able to shave his face, thus the famous beard.

Frances Appelton Longfellow died the following day, July 10, 1861.

The first Christmas after her death, Longfellow wrote in his journal, "How inexpressively sad are all holidays."

A year after her death he wrote, "I can make no record of these days. Better leave them wrapped in silence. Perhaps someday, God will give me peace."

A December 25, 1862 entry in his journal reads, "A merry Christmas say the children, but that is no more for me."

Almost a year later, Longfellow received word that his son, Charles, a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac, had been severely wounded with a bullet passing under his shoulder blades, resulting in the loss of one of his spinal processes. His son, however, would not die from his wound.

Nothing was entered in Longfellow's journal on Christmas, 1863. Nothing. Silence.

Then his prayer was answered. God would, indeed, give him peace someday. And the expression of that day came on Christmas day, December 25, 1864. On that day he wrote the poem, "Christmas Bells," that we know as the carol, "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day." John Baptiste Calkin wrote the music in 1872, with very little edit to Longfellow's original words, and the carol was published.

Longfellow's Christmas Bells loudly proclaimed his passion, his hope, his personal restoration and the redemption that comes only through the message of Christmas---the birth of Christ, the Savior of the world.

His bells rang out, "God is not dead," "Nor doth He sleep."

Longfellow, deeply concerned over the political issues of his day---particularly slavery, saw hope in the election of Abraham Lincoln---he saw an end to the deadly war that pitted brother against brother and family against family.

His Christmas Bells rang out the truth, and he wrote, "The wrong shall fail, the right prevail," and in closing, his own personal recognition that peace had come to his own heart, "of peace on Earth, good will toward men."

Following are the lyrics to the carol "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day." May you hear the bells as they proclaim redemption, restoration, forgiveness, new life, vision, purpose and blessing to you and yours.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Slouching Towards Gomorrah and the Republican Party

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I want to comment on the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" vote and the direction of the Republican Party.

Congress has said "yes" to open homosexuality in the military. Over the loud and passionate pleas from Senator John McCain, and concerns expressed by military leaders who serve in combat, the Senate caved to homosexual activists, joined President Obama in his attempt to appease the activists and retain their vote, and said yes to a social experiment that will have both "intended" and "unintended" consequences.

The homosexual victory was aided by a number of Republicans. McCain was not one of them. He said of our fighting men and women, "They will do what is ask of them, but don't think there won't be consequences."

I'm reminded of Judge Robert H. Bork's bestselling 1996 book, "Slouching Towards Gomorrah," in which he graphically points out the moral decline in America and, if continued, the certain consequences.

You have witnessed another step down a slippery moral decline. And there will be consequences.
The Alliance Defense Fund issued a statement following the vote saying, "The Senate's cave-in to pressure from activists to impose homosexual behavior on our military will place troops' religious liberties in unprecedented jeopardy."

They say the first casualty will likely be the religious freedom of chaplins. They say they will defend them in court.

The Republican Party.

Several Republicans joined President Obama, Harry Reid and others in pushing the homosexual agenda forward. Many were silent on important social issues during the recent election.

There is growing discussion about the core positions of the Republican Party. There has been an orchestrated effort within the Party to advise candidates to avoid the issues of "marriage" and "abortion" and move toward the so-called center.

On January 3rd, Americans for Tax Reform and The Susan B. Anthony List is co-hosting the 2011 RNC Chairman's debate, which will include those candidates running for RNC Chairman.

The Chairman's view on marriage, abortion, family, etc. as core issues, significantly shapes the position the Party takes on these issues.

You can participate in deciding which questions will be asked of the candidates by clicking
here and going to . The most requested questions will be asked of the candidates.
You will be asked to register and will receive a password. I'm personally comfortable with it, although it could put your name on additional lists to which you may want to unsubscribe.

Please note question #24 which deals with marriage. There are a number of other interesting questions in play as well.

I personally think there is value in participating in this and I will be doing so. I believe the published results will have an impact.

A personal note: Thank you to those who have recently donated to Faith and Freedom Foundation. A survey just out reveals that about 80% of non-profit organizations were down in donations this past year---some as much as 50%. Those that were even or had a slight gain in donations were, for the most part, either linked directly to disaster relief work or were smaller organizations that had a very large single donor.

Your donations allow us to continue.

Thank you for considering a
year-end tax deductible donation to Faith and Freedom Foundation. Your support is needed and much appreciated.

Be Active. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Sen. Scott Brown (R) Will Vote For Repeal

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Senator Scott Brown, R-Mass, announced yesterday that if Harry Reid can get it to a vote, he will join Reid and other liberals in voting for repeal of the military policy of "Don't Ask-Don't Tell".

Brown will become the 61st vote, thus giving Reid, President Obama and others what they need to keep their promise to homosexual activists. The question now is; "Can they get the new stand alone bill to the floor before Congress adjourns?" If not, it is not likely to be considered by Congress again for some time---if ever.

John McCain and others have said they will do everything possible to block the repeal because they feel it is not in the best interest of our military readiness. Leaders in actual field combat agree.


Also, be reminded. Many social conservatives rejoiced when Brown won the seat Ted Kennedy had held for so many years.

The argument is consistently made that a "moderate" Republican is always better than a liberal Democrat.

Are they? Better for whom? The Party? While there is a measure of merit to that view regarding fiscal issues, most people of faith become involved in political activism because of their deeply held social beliefs, as well as their fiscal beliefs.

Which brings me to this:

Brown is not with us on these issues. Nor will the next "moderate" Republican who seeks the Washington State Governor's office.

As the race for Washington State Governor begins, if it has not already unofficially begun, a few Christian leaders will be telling you a certain so-called "moderate" will be much better than Gregoire, Insley, or whomever.

Will he? Why? What is most important? Party? Or Principle?

Be sure.

Be Discerning. Be Certain. Be Prayerful.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Iraqi Christians: "Please Help Us!"

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A call for help has gone out from Christians living in Iraq.

They are contacting the European Parliament and reaching out to other western governments, asking for help as they experience a systematic religious cleansing.

Al Queda in Iraq has called Christians, "legitimate targets" who would be killed "wherever they can be found."

Christian denominations in the country include; Chaldeans, Syrian Catholics, Assyrians and evangelicals. Some trace their origins to the earliest years of Christianity.

The majority of these Christians live in what is known as the Nineveh Plain, a rural area near Mosul.

A letter sent out by Christian leadership in Syria last Monday outlines the reality these Christians are facing in Iraq. It is sobering.

The letter said in part:
“Their conditions are no longer bearable, the people are living behind locked doors, they are compelled to take long leaves of absence from work, in Mosul and other cities, as a result of the dangers they face at work,” the letter said. “The universities are almost empty of Christian students, as are the schools. In some of the cities even the streets are almost empty of Christians.”

Those close to the situation, say there is no Obama policy for these people, not even a safe-haven or refugee policy, designed to help Iraqi Christians as they face being killed for their faith.

CNSNEWS has written a detailed article on this matter. I suggest you read it. Then do two things:

* Pray for these Christian brothers and sisters.

* Thank God for the freedoms we have in this country. And remember why we have them.

While we are sometimes frustrated because we can't find the right gift at Target, for the right price, there are those who are themselves "The Target" of religious cleansing, simply because they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have embraced Him as their Savior---their Messiah.

Be Thankful. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Free. Be Blessed.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peace On Earth?

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Not far from the birth place of the "Prince of Peace," conflicting claims to Jerusalem continue. It is one of the issues that lie at the heart of the conflict in the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been very clear on his position regarding both east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Without giving Netanyahu a heads up, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, on Sunday,
called for Israel to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians, a view Netanyahu strongly opposes.

Barak later explained that he was only expressing his personal opinion, not the policy of the Israeli government.

The West Bank and east Jerusalem is nearly always defined by the news organizations as, "Lands that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War."

This is a short view of history, which most in the press prefer. A longer, more truthful view shows an ancient and long relationship, both territorial and spiritual, between Israel and this land.

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, not known to be a supporter of Israel, is expressing frustration over what we have come to know as the "Peace Process."

She is calling for "compromise" on the holy city declaring, "there will be no peace without an agreement" on Jerusalem.

Clinton says both sides must lay out their "core values on the issue."

Netanyahu has laid out his core values on Jerusalem. He does not intend to compromise. Evidently the "peace process" will not work on someones political schedule.

A powerful promise is written in Psalms 122:6---"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."

Israel is not the aggressor in the Middle East, nor have they declared that others should be pushed into the sea and made extinct.

However, many call for their demise.

The ancient prophet Zechariah (12:3 ) said, "And in that day, will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered against it."

Biblical prophecy defines the time in which there will be peace in Jerusalem.

Perhaps too many Israeli people have forsaken their first love for God and, as many westerners, forsaken the Truth and misplaced their faith.

Peace in Jerusalem, the Middle East and elsewhere, will in my view never be achieved by political compromise--- even with the best of intentions. In the end all the "process" will be "cut in pieces."

Peace in Jerusalem can only result from the same faith that returned the Jews to their homeland a generation ago.

And speaking of peace.

There is only one true peace: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." ---Jesus.

May the true peace of God be experienced in Jerusalem---and in your heart.

God bless you and yours.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Monday, December 13, 2010

No Room For Jesus In The Terminal

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Baby Jesus has been removed from the Staten Island, NY Ferry Terminal.

The Menorah is okay. The Christmas Tree is okay---but
no Jesus.

Across the way in New Jersey, "American Atheists" has put up a billboard mocking the nativity scene declaring, "You know it's a myth. This season, celebrate reason."

That's okay, too.

The Catholic League responded with their own billboard on the New York side of the same freeway that says, "You know it's real: This season celebrate Jesus. Merry Christmas from the Catholic League."

While we have the battle of the billboards---and I commend the Catholics for the effort and the message, there is yet another image that emerges when we take a closer look with our mind and with our spirit:

"I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness."--- Jesus

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."---Jesus.

Let heaven and earth rejoice.


Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Obama's Repeal Fails---Gregoire Calls Emergency Session Tomorrow

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Two things.

First, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to get the necessary 60 votes for a procedural motion to start consideration of the 2011 defense authorization bill which contains a provision to repeal the "Don't Ask--Don't Tell" military policy.

The President and his enablers believed if they attached the repeal to the funding bill, they could force it through.

They were wrong. The military will be funded and it appears the President has likely failed to deliver on another promise, although he promises to fight on for his activist homosexual constituents.

In an email late yesterday, President Obama's "Organizing for America" said he is not done fighting.

Second. Governor Gregoire has called Washington State lawmakers to an emergency session which convenes tomorrow morning at 9 AM.

Purpose? To fix the financial mess created by habitually over-spending in a down economy.

The Governor told
The Seattle Times, "If all goes well and the creek don't rise, we'll go home Saturday night."

They will likely go home Saturday night. But, make no mistake, the "creek is rising."

Gregoire said she doesn't expect to solve the entire budget problem for this fiscal year---and she certainly won't.

I have linked
The Seattle Times article on tomorrow's session. The Times gives considerable detail on a number of cost-cutting considerations that are on the table.

The ultimate solution lies in the hands and hearts of the voters. Maybe next time we can get a majority and a true conservative Governor.

Have a great weekend.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Gagged by the Flag

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Thank you for your response to Faith and Freedom. Your financial support allows us to address important cultural issues and advance Judeo-Christian values in the culture. Those who support Faith and Freedom will receive a detailed letter this week. It is informative and gives details of actions we hope to take over the next few weeks.

TIME Magazine has hailed Julian Assange, an Internet hacker from Australia, "The Wizard Of Oz." And they aren't using a question mark.

Although Assange is now in custody, he will not disappear any time soon. Nor will his mission. The press has seized the moment to extol their own virtues, using Assange as their newest, most visible prop.

TIME has
depicted Assange with an American flag over his mouth, keeping him from talking.

His cause, he has said, is to cripple American "imperialism." A cause, I suppose, that is consistent with terrorists around the world.

Is it odd that "imperialism" would be attached to the country that has freed more people from tyranny and given more charity to the poor and needy than any country in the history of the world? Probably not, given the hate and envy some can foster.

It is generally believed that TIME Magazine will make Julian Assange their 2010 "Person of the Year." The TIME announcement will come on December 14.

Richard Stengel, TIME Magazine editor, wrote in his "To Our Readers" letter that Assange is out to "harm American national security," but he says, "the right of news organizations to publish those documents has historically been protected by the First Amendment ."

Brent Bozell, president of
Media Research Council says, "Some might ask, on the people's behalf: In our democracy, whom do you trust to defend you from another terrorist attack? TIME Magazine? The New York Times? Who elected them to act as our guardians against terrorist violence and mayhem?"

And speaking of electing those who would look out for our national security, Christian Whiton, a former US State Department senior advisor, has written a very
telling article titled, "Dereliction of Duty: Obama and the WikiLeaks Train Wreck." I recommend you read it.

Stengel told CNN the media's role is to "publish and be damned," which Bozell says is the media's way of saying "the public be damned."

In Assange's world our Pentagon is always lying and the idealistic liberals and leftists are always exposing them with the "sensitive truths."

If someone is being "gagged by the flag," is it Julian Assange? And his allies in the "free" press? Or is it the American people who once again are getting a bad rap for being good and trying to protect themselves from terrorists while the terrorists abuse our freedoms to advance their own anti-American agenda?

You tell me.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Active. Be Free. Be Thankful.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Barack Obama's "Sputnik Moment"

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In an interesting test of what might be the essence of his State of the Union speech after the first of the year, and, for that matter, a theme in his run-for-a-second-term, President Obama told a small group of kids at Winston-Salem's Forsyth Tech, "We need a commitment to innovation we haven't seen since President Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon."

He said, "We need a new 'Sputnik Moment.'" Referring to the October 4, 1957, launch of the Soviet satellite.

He told the kids, "I believe right now there are bigger issues at stake for our country than politics. These issues," he said, "call for us to respond not as partisans, but as Americans."

Wow! This is a Sputnik moment.

He said, "We must win the future."

Sputnik was indeed a wake-up call for the free world. It had been developed in secrecy. It shocked the world when it was launched with its funny beeps from space. There was a sense of vulnerability---a sense of losing control to evil as the little steel ball circled the globe every 90 minutes.

Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson demanded a Congressional investigation on the impact of Sputnik.

But I'm wondering who needs the "Sputnik Moment"---we the people, or the President?

President Obama was elected on the promise of "change," yet his first two years in office have shown his policies to be old and tired; those of the previously failed presidencies of Johnson and Carter and Wilson.

And Barack Obama is no John Kennedy.

His call for a "Sputnik Moment" may in fact be a call to salvage his own political future, rather than the future of the country.

He told the kids, "We must win the future." Whose future?

It is difficult to hear a man who has insisted that America is not exceptional and has toured the world---particularly the Muslim world, apologizing for America's past, now calling for a "Sputnik Moment" which he defines as a moment to put aside partisanship and to respond to the economic threats from China and Russia and to once again strive to become a leading nation.

Barack Obama is on track to have the most spectacularly failed presidency since Carter, or even Woodrow Wilson.

It is difficult to hear a President who refused to hear from the minority in Congress as he rammed through a healthcare bill that essentially sets the stage for America to become another European-type socialistic country, now calling for non-partisanship.

And defining this past election as a call from "the people" to work together, or in Obama-speak, work with him, is laughable.

More than a year ago,
Dorothy Rabinowitz, writing for The Wall Street Journal said, "The President has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clear, knows little about Americans. He knows the crowds---he is at home with those. He is a stranger to the country's heart and character."

A stranger in a strange land.

It is true, his profile is fuzzy. His past even more so. He seems to be devoid of content. He doesn't seem to command our respect, including that of many who supported him just months ago. He seems unable to appeal to our common sense. He seems to be a little of everything and a lot of nothing. Core values?

Mrs. Obama's comment, revealing she had never been proud of her country until her husband became a candidate for the Presidency, lingers in minds.

For 20 years he and his family partook of the "ministry" of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, without taking issue. Only when this association threatened his own political ambitions did he remove himself from this extreme anti-American environment.

He told the kids at Forsyth, "The hard truth is this: In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind."


It could be that America had a "Sputnik Moment" sometime ago, realizing that we made a terrible mistake in 2008. The anger expressed in Town Hall meetings last summer was rooted in the awareness that a majority in America had voted for change, hope and a better future, but had received tired, out-of-touch policies and an isolated leader---one who is "a stranger to the country's heart and character."

The "Sputnik Moment" has likely already happened for the American people. This may be nothing more than one man's awakening to what has already happened.

It is indeed a hard truth. Without proper leadership, America will fall behind.

However the good news is this: Our Founding Fathers understood "Sputnik Moments" and gave us another chance to get it right.

In our case it's called "Election 2012."

May God bless and help us all.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Bill to De-Fund Planned Parenthood

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Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Min., is calling on the House of Representatives to de-fund Planned Parenthood when the Republican House majority is seated next month.

"For the first time in American history," she says, "we have federal funding of abortion."

She says, "President Obama denies that, but we know that it's already happened in Pennsylvania."

She is a co-sponsor of a bill proposed by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., "The X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act" that would deny federal family planning funds to any organization, "Unless that entity certifies that, during the period of assistance, the entity will not perform and will not provide funds to any other entity that performs an abortion." The exception would be in the case of rape, incest or verifiable threat to the mother's life.

Bachmann has also said there may need to be an "insurrection"
against GOP leaders if they don't hold an independent, straight up-or-down vote on repealing the entire Obamacare law.

And she says the vote must not tie the repeal to other policy initiatives, including any effort to, "Replace elements of Obamacare with new federal healthcare reforms."

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who will be the House Majority Leader in the new Congress, agrees with Bachmann.

Frankly, John Boehner, R-Ohio, who will be the new Speaker of the House, has seemed to be a bit ambiguous on this particular issue of tying the repeal of Obamacare to other issues such as healthcare reforms intended to "replace" the Obama plan. The conservative message from the election was to repeal Obamacare and start over on a healthcare reform that really is a reform, not a vehicle to "transform" America into a socialist shadow of Europe.

When asked if she is confident the new Republican majority will hold straight up-or-down vote on Obamacare, she said, "If they don't, I think there needs to be an insurrection here in Washington D.C. against our own leadership---because that is the message that's come loud and clear out of this election: a full scale repudiation and rejection of the federal government takeover of private industry."

Rep. Michele Bachmann is not timid. Nor are many of her colleagues.

Thomas Jefferson would be proud. He once said, "Timid men [women] prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty."

This is a time to be
Vigilant, Discerning, Informed, Active, Prayerful and Vocal.

Thank you for
your support of our efforts to do all the above.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Miracle On Capitol Way

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You're familiar with, "Miracle On 34th Street," but have you heard of the "Miracle On Capitol Way" in Olympia?

It's a secular "holiday" miracle.

It is unclear who actually performed the miracle, but there is evidence that it has happened. There are reports that Secretary of State Sam Reed performed the actual miracle--or Attorney General Rob McKenna. Some think it was Governor Gregoire. Others say it was our Founding Fathers who said in the Constitution that the word God or Christmas could not be uttered or implied on state owned property.

But the evidence stands. It actually happened.

A 22-foot Noble Fir tree stands in the Capitol Rotunda---a tree that has been transformed in a magical way. And it happened sometime between conception and death. Perhaps in route to its final stand.

The Secretary's
website reports, "The tree was donated by Tom and Dian Rolfs of Olympia, who live near Marvin Road. The fir was originally planted on their deck in 1995 as a living Christmas tree."

So the tree was, at conception, a "Christmas tree" according to the Secretary's website.

Secretary Reed's website continues; "It was then transitioned to their yard, and they continued to decorate it until it grew too tall."

Is there a height at which a Christmas tree is no longer a Christmas tree?

When did the tree cease to be a Christmas tree? Was it en route along Marvin Road? Perhaps as it entered Capitol Way? Or as it was moved into the Capitol last week?

The Secretary's website reports that the tree is now a "Holiday Tree." A miracle! A tree that had found its identity as a "Christmas Tree" for 15 years, is suddenly transformed into a "Holiday Tree." The tree's caretakers had known it as a "Christmas" tree. Neighbors had known it as a Christmas tree---but now it is no longer a Christmas tree.

It was celebrated this past Friday as the official Capitol Rotunda "Holiday Tree."

A reverse, secular miracle.

In a possibly related note; as I drove down Capitol Way yesterday afternoon, just blocks from the site of the miracle "Holiday" tree, a woman in an older Buick pulled out onto the "Way" with a clear and distinct message written on her car---in big bold letters.

Large self adhesive letters on the side of her car said, "Freedom From Faith." The letters were not unlike the font on our own Faith and Freedom logo. As she sped past, the message across the back of her car said something very close to this: "God doesn't need your faith or your lies about his existence."

Could she have been visiting the "holiday tree?"

I will likely never know, nor will we ever know who actually performed the "Miracle On Capitol Way."

What we do know, however, is that the world changed forever the day God became flesh and dwelt among us. We know Him as Jesus. And we know His birthday as "Christmas."

Polls consistently show at least 70% of Americans prefer the word "Christmas" as it relates to trees, wreaths, etc., and of those, 7 of 10 prefer the term "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays."

To the neglected majority, "Merry Christmas." And enjoy your Christmas tree.

Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be A Blessing. Be Blessed.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

60% Of Combat Troops Oppose Repeal

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Mitch Stewart, President Obama's main man that runs the President's "Organizing for America" said in an email yesterday, "The Pentagon study released yesterday, confirms what we've long known: The military is ready to repeal 'Don't ask, Don't tell'."

He says, "70% of the troops do not believe the change would have a negative impact."


And this is the dominate message from the press.

Actually, the US COMBAT forces have voiced
strong reservations about the effects on readiness of allowing open gays in the ranks.

Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, reported that the President's directive to repeal the policy is fine with the Chiefs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps ("corpse," as our President says) and Army. He says they feel it will have "low" impact on readiness.

However, nearly 60% of Army and Marine Corps combatants---our warriors,
are saying open homosexuals in the military will damage our war fighting capabilities.

Perhaps the Obama administration has some other mission in mind for our military.

Of 115,000 troops who took the survey, 44% said effectiveness would be negatively effected.

However, nearly 60% of Army and Marine combatants said it would be negative.

These are the people who are doing the fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan---and will be, in future conflicts elsewhere.

It appears that support people and high level leadership are not so concerned about the repeal, while those on the ground doing the fighting are not okay with it.

General James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, opposes the repeal, as does his predecessor, Gen. Conway.

Sen. John McCain also has strongly opposed the repeal. And says he will continue to do so.

Most conservatives and people of faith feel, due to President Obama's promise to the homosexual community to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the dye was cast regarding the outcome going into the study.

Because of the questions asked and the politicized position of many in military leadership, the outcome was somewhat predictable. Ten months of survey may be of little value to Congress because they never asked the most important, central question:

Will overturning the policy enhance our nation's ability to fight and win wars?

It appears that social experimentation may be more important than military readiness. And freedom.

Action in Congress is scheduled to begin today.

If Harry Reid fails in his attempt to get 60 votes in the Senate, to bring the repeal to the floor for a vote, President Obama's promise to "transform" yet another part of America will likely fail. Most do not believe it can pass once the new Congress is seated in January.

Pay attention to how your Senator votes on this matter. For those in Washington State, it won't take a great amount of research. Senator Murray, newly invigorated and re-elected, will be in full stride beside President Obama.

There is much work to be done. God help us.

Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Terrorist Who Didn't Succeed

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Mohamed Osman Mohamud wanted to detonate a car bomb during a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony this past Friday where 10,000 people were gathered in Pioneer Square in downtown Portland.

It's a national news story. I'm sure you've heard about it.

It's interesting, however, how quickly the story line can turn from a 19-year-old Oregon State University student from Somalia wanting to kill people or "become operational" in terrorist terms, to, as
The Seattle Times defines the story: "Was FBI Grooming Portland Suspect For Terror?"

The story has already turned from an attempted Muslim terrorist bombing of 10,000 people, to an outreach to peaceful Islam.

This, of course, is exactly what Mohamed Mohamud's lawyers are now saying. And he has pleaded not guilty.

You have read the accounts, including the FBI report which details a number of times when the undercover agents gave Mohamed both good reason and opportunity to reconsider and push back from killing possibly thousands of people, including women and children. He didn't blink.

Mohamed's defense and local Muslim leaders are now saying the undercover agents played their role too well. It's their fault.

If the young Somalian would have succeeded, the FBI and other agency personnel would be on "paid leave pending an investigation" of why they failed to perform.

A couple of thoughts on the matter.

Freedom in America is at a crises point.

Law enforcement said Mohamed saw Portland as an area over-looked by law enforcement agents. Translated---very liberal and vulnerable. Fortunately, the federal agents do not share the extreme left position of many Portlanders. They did not overlook this would-be terrorist. They did their job.

Portland, as pointed out by The Seattle Times, has been the scene of significant terrorism activities and investigations since 9-11.

Do far left cities appear to be more fertile targets for terrorists?

Following the Friday evening attempt to kill thousands, a fire was started in a mosque in Corvallis, Oregon, where Mohamed sometimes attends meetings.

Oregon Iman, Mikal Shahazz, says according to The Seattle Times, there is now great concern for Muslim, "children who need to go to school and women who need to go shopping."

The Seattle Times reported Sunday that Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali mission to the United Nations in New York City, told AP his office has received "thousands of calls" from Somalis in the US who are concerned about, "tactics used by federal agents in the sting operation against Mohamud."

Do we have too much freedom in America? Or not enough freedom? Should the federal agents be required to keep hands off would be terrorists until they kill people? Is a sting operation automatically "entrapment"?

Is freedom our greatest strength? Or our greatest weakness?

Think about this:

America has enjoyed the greatest expression of freedom in human history.

John Adams, our 2nd President, who helped frame our Founding documents and create this great country said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people; It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

His term "religious" specifically referred to Christianity.

His son, John Quincy Adams, our 6th President said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

Could it be possible, that as we move away from the Judeo-Christian principles that made this nation an exceptional city on a hill, toward a secular, multicultural, politically correct, so-called tolerant, all-inclusive nation, we actually become more and more vulnerable, and less and less tolerant, inclusive and free?

Patrick Henry, another Founder, once said, "When people forget God, tyrants forge their chains."

One thing is certain. Our freedoms are based on an understanding of biblical truths. As those fundamental principles are discarded, freedoms are diminished. And chains are forged.

God help us.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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