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ONE SMALL STEP

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I took our eldest grandson out this morning – the first time since going into the hospital six months ago.

As he’s only 2 and a half, he had forgotten our daily trips last summer. Today, he was quite fearful about going anywhere with Grandpa.

This was not helped when I lifted him into his car seat in our Ford Expedition. It wasn’t easy to lift him. I had doubts myself as my surgeon said I should not lift more than ten pounds. But I got him into his seat and we drove to a nearby store.

He was still resisting me when I got him out of his car seat and into a shopping cart.   Thankfully, he’s easily bought – I gave him a packet of cookies and he calmed down. From that point on, he behaved himself perfectly, helping me select grocery items as we walked down the aisles (more cookies!).

I’ve started to address him as “Cookie Monster.” He’s a fan of Sesame Street and has learned the alphabet partly by watching the show. When the program today showed an ‘N’ and a ‘P,’ he came up to me pointing at the television screen and saying ‘O’, ‘O’ and again, ‘O’.   He’s not even three and he’s already correcting mistakes on TV!

He and his younger brother still favor “Hickory Dickory Dock” over all other electronic fare. Only they don’t say “dock” – they say “duck.” When I’m using my laptop, they will ask for “duck” and I switch over from whatever I’m doing to show them yet another variation of “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Does anybody out there know how many versions of the old nursery rhyme are on the internet? It must run into the hundreds! I can even sing it in Hindi.

I used to take both boys out for a daily walk but have not been able to this summer for health reasons. Today was a big step, taking Aubren out for an hour. Next time, I will take his younger brother Leeson. It’s going to be a while before I can take both out at the same time. But today was one small step forward into full recovery.

Diane and I are both recovering from surgery at the same time. It’s a slow process. We have to help and support each other. Hopefully by next spring we will be back to normal and able to go places and see people. I also hope I will be up to walking both boys again, on a daily basis. They won’t want to walk with Grandpa much longer, so I don’t want to miss any opportunity now.

JAMES FOLEY’S BEHEADING

James Foley beheading

I’ve started watching “Civilization,” a 1967 TV series which was a personal look at the history of western civilization by Kenneth Clark, who died in 1983. I remember watching it when it was originally shown. It’s good to see it again.

In the first episode, Lord Clark talked about how the barbarians destroyed Rome. They came in waves over the course of centuries. The last barbarian invasion was by Muslims in the seventh and eighth centuries.

Now, in 1967 Lord Clark could get away with describing the Muslims as barbarians. Today, he would be prosecuted for failing to be politically correct. He should rather have described the Muslims as people of an equally valid but different faith, or words to that effect.

But, if he were alive and able to watch the news today, I think he would still be tempted to use the word “barbarians.”

After the beheading of US journalist James Foley, what other term can be used?

In the western media, there is concern to arrest the man responsible, as if only one person would do such a thing. This was not an act of an individual; this is a movement, which is gaining ground. As a BBC reporter put it tonight: IS (Islamic State) is “the fastest growing terrorist entity of our time.” Their dream is to reestablish the Caliphate that ruled the Islamic world immediately after the death of Mohammed and continued until the fall of the Ottoman Empire 90 years ago. At its height the Caliphate ruled the Arab world, North Africa and the Balkans right up to the gates of Vienna.

Interviews on the streets of London show considerable support amongst British Muslims for the Caliphate. There is great disillusionment with the western way of life. Young UK jihadists operating in Syria and Iraq speak enthusiastically of beheading infidels while in the same conversation lamenting how much they miss certain British television programs and M&M’s!

It remains to be seen whether IS is fulfilling the prophecy of the first and second horsemen, depicted in Revelation 6. “ . . . I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer . . . Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.” (verses 1 – 4)  Famine and pestilence follow.

When asked by His disciples what would be the sign of His coming, Jesus Christ warned first of false religion (Matt 24:5). IS certainly fits that description. Islam itself is a false religion, in spite of what multiculturalists have been saying for forty years. IS is the most extreme form of Islam, totally intolerant of other faiths.

The so-called Caliphate already controls a territory the size of Pennsylvania, surrounded by other Arab territories and Iran. The West will not continue to bomb them indefinitely, at which point they will expand and conquer a bigger area.

They know they cannot defeat the West without direct attacks upon western targets.   When the American and British jihadists return to their homelands, they will likely continue with suicide bombings and street beheadings (remember Lee Rigby), striking fear into westerners who have never seen anything like it.

The beheading yesterday of James Foley was the first direct blow against America.   Others will certainly follow.

This could turn out to be the greatest threat ever to the US, UK, and other western nations.