Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |


This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?

The Price of Anti-Christian Bigotry

The second oldest college in America, William & Mary, has been told they should not expect an 'expected' $12 Million dollar donation.

The decision by the president of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, whose chancellor is former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, to remove a donated brass cross from the historic Wren Chapel may be costing the school a cool $12 million, according to a new report.

It was last fall when WND revealed that university administrator Melissa Engimann circulated an e-mail noting that the cross in Wren Chapel was going to be placed in permanent storage to make the chapel "less of a faith-specific space."

The school president, Gene Nichol, said he'd gotten a complaint about the cross, and although he has admitted he handled the situation incorrectly, he still hasn't restored the cross, despite the nearly 17,000 signatures on a petition assembled seeking that.

Now a report in the Hampton Roads, Va., Daily Press suggested that's going to be a costly position to maintain.

A letter the newspaper obtained reported that former Board of Visitors member James W. McGlothlin wrote to another former board member Feb. 16 that Nichol's decision was "unbelievable."

"This has been so disturbing to me that I have decided to withhold any future contributions to the College," he wrote in the letter, which documented that a "very large contribution was in the making" before President Tim Sullivan retired from William and Mary.

McGlothlin, of Bristol, Va., is a longtime donor to the school, but it couldn't be confirmed immediately whether he is the donor who rescinded a $12 million pledge to the school because of the controversy.

It serves them right. After all, why continue to call it a 'chapel' if the intent in removing the cross was to make the space "Less space-specific"? Why is it the great Christian universities of early America have abandoned their original calling? How is it that Liberalism, promoted as enlightenment, has been allowed to darken the hearts and minds of millions of students... Students who most likely don't even know that their fine Ivy League University used to TEACH Christianity?

Don't bother, I know the answers...

Because it still LOOKS like a chapel.
Because America has largely abandoned God.
Because America fell asleep in class.

And what will the Liberal supporters of William & Mary probably resort to? Epithets...

Let's see, there's Wops, Spics, Krauts, Limeys, Frogs, Sand Apes, Niggers, Chinks, Kikes... to name but a few. Now we can likely add "Holier than Thous", or "Bible-thumping Jesus-jumpers". I'm sure the "HuffPo's" can come up with better.

Bigotry is a sickness of the soul. It does NOT have to be learned; it is as natural as breathing. Those who engage in it do not deserve $12M donations.

Chill, Dan... none of this is directed at you.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 8:14 PM, ,

And some of you wonder...

...why I have no respect for the Left. How many liberal politicians, I wonder, will repudiate their unhinged supporters.

[Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for preserving the evidence]

The sick perversion I affectionately refer to as 'The Unhinged Liberal Left' spent the morning lamenting the fact that a suicide bomber FAILED to assassinate the Vice-President. Truly Incredible!!! Well, giving credit where credit is due, at least the managers at The Huffington Post closed comments (after 11 pages!), and deleted many of the more vile comments. Still, the fact that places like HuffPo exist, gives me little hope for a national reconciliation... We are lessened as a nation because of such fools. I hope the powers-that-be at HuffPo are at least embarrassed by their readers.

What shallow lives these commenters must live, swimming in the poison of their own vile hatred.

God have mercy on them all. And praise be to God for protecting our Vice President.


On a side note: The Dow Jones industrial is currently down some 500 points... HUGE drop!... It will be interesting to see how the media plays off this.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:13 PM, ,

How do you like me so far?

Though the first primary is some ten months off who do you like so far?

Me? I haven't seen anyone I like. Seen a lot I DON'T like, but that's not the question. Still, if I had to choose based on the field of candidates today.... I think Rudy's electable; and in my opinion, the stakes in the next presidential election are too high to choose who I want-- I fear we will all end up supporting someone we don't necessarily want, but who I want may not get the Republican nomination. I don't know enough about Romney to say I like the guy, and I know enough about McCain to say I'll support him if he gets the nomination.

Where does this present field of candidates line up with you?

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 2:39 PM, ,

What does it take to win an Oscar these days?

Make a junk-science documentary....

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 10:10 AM, ,

What News from the Battlements?

For anyone interested, I'm starting a new blog so I can separate my political, social, and all-around general views from my views on faith and God. From now on, the only time you'll see my views of Faith and God here, is when they intersect with the aforementioned all-around generals and such. Initially, you'll see a few repeats from this blog-- no sense in letting all this great material go to waste.

I'll also be looking for guest authors.

Oh! And ROE is most certainly in play.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 8:06 PM, ,

What Passes for First-Rate Cognitive Ability...

For THIS Democrat, at least!

"...Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace is the possibility that Israel will bomb Iran's nuclear facilities."

--Presidential Hopeful, John Edwards

NOT that Iran would acquire nuclear weapons, but that another nation might try to stop them! Sheesh! Let's all give thanks to God that this man has a near ZERO percent chance of winning the Oval Office.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:24 PM, ,

Picking up where last post left off....

"When Congress Commits Treason"
by Raymond S. Kraft
Feb. 4, 2007

An excerpt:

Al Qaeda wants an American retreat, defeat, and surrender in Iraq. So do America's Democrats. Hezbollah wants an American retreat, defeat, and surrender in Iraq. So do America's Democrats. Iran wants an American retreat, defeat, and surrender in Iraq. So do America's Democrats. Muqtada al Sadr wants an American retreat, defeat, and surrender in Iraq. So do America's Democrats. Osama bin Laden wants an American retreat, defeat, and surrender in Iraq. So do America's Democrats. When an American political party aligns itself with the goals, hopes, and ambitions of America's enemies in a time of war, in my view there is only one word for it - Treason.

Today, most of the "leading Democrats" in Congress are falling all over themselves to give aid, comfort, and hope, to the Jihad, the Islamic Resistance Movement, the Islamist movement for the decline and fall of Western Civilization and the ascendance of Jihadist Islam in Iraq and around the world. Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and many of the rest give their assurance that with Democrats in power, America will retreat, embrace defeat, and surrender, selling their souls and their country down the river for primary votes and and trucks of money from the Pacifist Left. Here, the ignominious spectacle of Democrats selling out the future freedom of the Iraqi people for votes and dollars. Osama bin Laden once called America "a paper tiger." America's Democrats seem determined to prove him right. Treason for votes. Treason for dollars. Treason as a political calculation. Treason, for revenge on George Bush.

Treason, to put a Democrat in the White House.

Follow that with...

"Dems Move to Limit Bush's War Authority"
by David Espo, Associated Press
Feb. 23, 2007

An excerpt:

Officials said Thursday the precise wording of the measure remains unsettled. One version would restrict American troops in Iraq to fighting al-Qaida, training Iraqi army and police forces, maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity and otherwise proceeding with the withdrawal of combat forces.

Limited to only fighting al-Qaida... Other sources restrict the troops even further declaring who the troops can and cannot fire back upon.... This is insane! Further, it is beyond their legislative authority to declare who the troops can and cannot fight against. Only the president as Commander in Chief has that ability.

As stated in the previous post, what Congress CAN do is completely defund the war effort. But to tell the troops they cannot defend themselves against insurgents is criminal. That is the ultimate effect. Right now troops can't arrest anyone seen deploying an IED or throwing such to kill American troops without testing them for residue. Talk about being hamstrung!

Now Democrats want to limit our troops to fighting only al-Qaida? And just how, pray tell, are they to know who is and is not al-Qaida? It's not like they wear uniforms! The point being, our troops will be unable to fight ANYONE without so much red tape they might as well just stand by and allow insurgents, al-Qaida, Iranian militias, foreign fighters, to do as they will. Not a shot can be fired without first knowing who is firing upon them!

Democrats have succeeded in painting this war as "another Vietnam" not because it IS, but because the Bush Administration hasn't done enough to combat the idiotic label. But democrats, and the Media by extension, have invested in the defeat of America since almost the beginning. They don't report the progress being made on a daily basis, but daily carry instead a scorecard for the enemy. On top of that the esteemed Wolfe Blitzer interviews a retired general who demonstrates using an actual blackhawk helicopter where it is vulnerable! How to shoot it down!

Neal Boortz had this to say:

The Democrats are running full steam ahead with trying to cut off our troops in Iraq and ensure failure and surrender in Iraq. Their latest plan is to push through a piece of legislation revoking Bush's authority to wage war in Iraq. You mean the same authority those same Democrats voted to give George W. Bush in 2002? Yeah..that's the one. So what does this latest legislation do? Read on to find out.

This isn't like the other non-binding resolutions that just disapprove of the war in Iraq or the way it is being handled. No, this one would have teeth. So far, one draft would restrict the troops in Iraq to fighting Al-Qaeda only. Are they kidding? Guess not. So now we have 100 commanders in chief in the United States Senate that are going to decide who the troops can fight and who they can't. Unbelievable...this is what the left calls "limiting the mission."

Instead of trying to tie the hands of our troops in Iraq, the Democrats need to either cut off funding for the war or sit down and shut up. It really makes you wonder just whose payroll these politicians are on these days. The Islamic fascists who want us dead must be partying BIG TIME!

The Democratic party, as an institution, IS treasonous. They ARE cowards. And no amount of makeup will make that "Ass" an Arabian Stallion.

The simple truth is, Democrats CANNOT be trusted with National Security, or with the prosecution of War. They are cowards. They are Traitors. They have no Honor. And I, like Dick Cheney, refuse to take it back. I can't take back Truth.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 2:32 PM, ,

Two Well Deserved "Hear! Hear!" 's

...go out to Sen. Joe Lieberman and Vice President Dick Cheney.

To Lieberman for standing on his principles:

"I have no desire to change parties. If that ever happens, it is because I feel the majority of Democrats have gone in a direction that I don't feel comfortable with... We will see how that plays out in the coming months."

--Speaking to the Politico about the Democrat's insane desire to pull funding, reinforcements, and materials for troops in Iraq.
The problem here however is Lieberman is a Senator, and the Senate, historically, has little sway over the House. It is possible that the Nancy may muzzle Murtha for the sake of keeping Reid in the drivers' seat, but imagine the payback for such a favor! Thing is, what House Democrats are trying to do is usurp the authority of the Executive Branch. The House cannot dictate to the President HOW to prosecute a war, and the conditions underwhich the Troops may engage the enemy. That is the sole pervue of the Commander in Chief. What the House CAN do is cut funding for the war effort, but they can't do that either... Not and maintain a democratic majority in Congress. These idiots have painted themselves into a serious corner.

To Cheney for not backing down and standing by the truth:

This from ABC News:

"My statement was that if we adopt the Pelosi policy, is that we will validate the strategy of al Qaeda," Cheney said. "I said it, and I meant it."

Cheney first made that allegation regarding Pelosi's call for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Wednesday, prompting Pelosi to call the White House to ask President Bush to repudiate the comments.

Pelosi called Cheney's words "beneath the dignity of the debate we're engaged in and a disservice to our men and women in uniform, whom we all support."

But Cheney is holding firm on his original comments.

"I am not sure what part of it that Nancy disagreed with," Cheney told ABC News during an interview today in Sydney, Australia. "She accused me of questioning her patriotism. I didn't question her patriotism, I questioned her judgment."

Cheney said: "The point I made, and I'll make it again, is that al Qaeda functions on the basis that they think they can break our will. That's their fundamental underlying strategy, that if they can kill enough Americans or cause enough havoc, create enough chaos in Iraq, then we'll quit and go home."
How is it remotely possible that Pelosi, Murtha, Reid, et al, can claim to "Support" the troops while seeking to deny them the support they need to carry out their mission?

They can't. Not with "Real World" logic, that is. Cheney may be trying to be generous by not calling her patriotism into question, but I don't have to be so magnanimous. I question both her judgment AND her patriotism!

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 1:27 PM, ,

Also From The Examiner...

Some mull idea of Sen. Bill Clinton

WASHINGTON - If Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the presidency, some top Democrats would like to see her husband, former President Bill Clinton, appointed to serve out Hillary’s unexpired Senate term.

“As a senator, he’d be a knockout,” said Harold Ickes, who was once a top White House aide to Bill Clinton and now gives behind-the-scenes advice to Hillary. “He knows issues, he loves public policy and he’s a good politician.”

Some Democrats and political analysts say Bill Clinton would thrive in the world’s greatest deliberative body, much like Lyndon Johnson did before he became president.

Good Grief!!!

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 11:51 AM, ,

Schmoozing Conservtives?

Or Speaking 'Truth to Power'?

It may be too much to hope that this is what McCain genuinely believes. Taking the cynical view, I can't help but wonder if this is merely McCain's attempt at wooing back conservatives after he so thoroughly trashed their trust after his decision to be a party to the 'Gang of Fourteen' formed in the Senate to shut down the Nuclear Option in changing Senate rules during the heated and much bally-hooed Confirmations hearings of now-Chief Justice John Roberts... among other less ignoble back-slapping forays into the enemy's camp.

This from the Examiner:

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Republican presidential candidate John McCain, looking to improve his standing with the party's conservative voters, said Sunday the court decision that legalized abortion should be overturned.

"I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned," the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states.

McCain also vowed that if elected, he would appoint judges who "strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench."

The landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade gave women the right to choose an abortion to terminate a pregnancy. The Supreme Court has narrowly upheld the decision, with the presence of an increasing number of more conservative justices on the court raising the possibility that abortion rights would be limited.

Social conservatives are a critical voting bloc in the GOP presidential primaries.

AHHhhhhhh! That's what I thought.... a critical voting bloc.

As Rudy is currently beating the pants off him in the polls, now he decides to come back to the fold.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 11:12 AM, ,

"Six Areas of Truth" :Quantified

1) The Virgin Birth

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"

--2 Timothy 3:16

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

--John 5:39

The Penitent Thief did not need anything other than to believe the man who hung on the cross next to him could "Remember [him] when He [came] into His glory". The thief didn't need to believe Jesus was born of a virgin. He didn't need to believe Jesus was God in human flesh. He didn't need to believe Jesus' blood would atone for his sins, or that he would rise from the dead three days later. He didn't need to believe that Jesus would return again from heaven one day, or that the scriptures were infallible. It is, however, a fair guess that this man knew something of the Messiah. He was, after all, a jew; and as such, probably spent many hours in the Synogogue as a child.

It's also fair to say this thief had heard of Jesus' fame; that He had called Lazarus back from the dead after four days, raised a young girl, as well as a widows' son; that numerous sick and diseased found healing by His word or touch. This thief did not spend the last three years of his life in a vacuum. It is quite likely this thief believed Jesus could perform what he asked of Him because of the hope and faith Jusus' good works had planted in the thief's heart over months rumors. This thief knew that Jesus was a just man and didn't deserve the cross...

"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss."
--Luke 23:39-41

How could the thief know that Jesus had done nothing amiss? I'm reminded now of a scene in "The Green Mile" where Tom Hanks' character says of John Coffee, "I just can't see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child"; the point being, Jesus could not have performed the miracles he performed if he deserved to die such an ignoble death as crucifixion.

Quoting "The Green Mile" again, what of the centurion who, having seen what was done, "glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man." It makes me wonder if he thought about his own role in that righteous man's death, as Hanks' character asks of Coffey, "When I die and I stand before God awaiting judgment and he asks me why I let one of HIS miracles die, what am I gonna say, that it was my job?"

This thief didn't need to know Jesus was virgin-born, but had Jesus NOT been born of a virgin, the thief would have no hope of being remembered by Jesus after their respective crucifixions. If Jesus had been tainted by the blood of Adam, He could never have lived a sinless life, nor could he have paid for anyone's sins, let alone His own. Jesus could not have been the Messiah were He not born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 states that specific qualification, and had Jesus not come into the world by way of Isaiah 7:14 He could not have saved anyone, let alone Himself.

2) The Full Diety of Christ

Building upon the virgin birth, it is through the artifice of the Holy Spirit that Mary conceived. Jesus therefore was not tainted with a human fathers' blood; the sin of Adam was not passed on to Him. Furthermore Isaiah 7:14 states that His name "shall [be called] Immanuel," which means "God with us"

Here's a short list of things the Bible has to say about the Diety of Christ:

God is Jesus, Jesus is God
Scripture Context Applied to Applied to
Father God Son Jesus
"God" Psalms 89:26 Hebrews 1:8
"Mighty God" Jeremiah 32:18 Isaiah 9:6
"True God" Jeremiah 10:10 1 John 5:20
"Almighty God" Genesis 17:1 Rev. 1:8 w/ 22:20
"Only God" Isaiah 45:22 1 Tim 1:16-17
"Lord of lords" Deut. 10:17 Rev. 17:14
"Redeemer" Gal. 3:13-14 Isaiah 44:6
"Holy Holy Holy" Isaiah 6:3 Rev. 4:8 w/ 22:20
"Holy One" Isaiah 12:6 Acts 3:14
"I Am" Exodus 3:14 John 8:58
"Creator" Isaiah 44:24 Col. 1:16
"Savior" Isaiah 43:11 Luke 2:11
"King" Psalms 29:10 Rev. 17:14
"Redeemed people" 2 Sam. 7:23-24 Titus 2:14
"Father" Matt. 6:9 Isaiah 9:6
"Rock" Deut. 32:4 1 Cor. 10:4
"Judge" Genesis 18:25 2 Tim. 4:8
"Shepherd" Psalms 23:1 John 10:11
"Same" Psalms 102:27 Hebrews 1:12,13:8
"First & Last" Isaiah 44:6 Rev. 1:17
"Above All" Psalms 97:9 John 3:31
"Over All" Psalms 103:19 Romans 9:5
"Worshipped" Psalms 95:6 Matt. 28:9
Control elements Psalms 107:29 Matt. 8:27
No end to years Psalms 102:25-27 Hebrews 1:10-12
Everlasting throne Psalms 93:2 Hebrews 1:8
Endless Kingdom Psalms 146:10 2 Peter 1:11
"Exalted" Psalms 108:5 Phil 2:9
"Pierced" Zech. 12:10 Rev. 1:7
Only Master Jude 4 Jeremiah 3:14
Every knee will bow Isaiah 45:23 Phil 2:10
And confess Him Romans 14:11
Whoever calls on
Him will be saved Joel 2:32 Romans 10:9-13
Valued & sold
for 30 pcs silver Zech. 11:12-13 Matt. 26:14-16

[I have absolutely NO idea how to get rid of that huge gap! but, moving on...]

The Bible describes God in three distinct persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But they aren't three separate beings... they all consist and find their identity in the power, glory, majesty, and omnipotence of God. God said, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways... For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." [Isaiah 55:8-9] Jehovah's Witnesses and other scoffers who laugh at the idea of God in three persons, pointing to the fact that Christ prayed to the Father and not Himself, are applying human logic to what is beyond human comprehension. Throughout the history of mankind God has chosen to reveal Himself to His creation, but man can only comprehend so much, for just as it is impossible for man to see the farthest reaches of our galaxy with his naked eye, how much more impossible to grasp the true nature of God almighty who transcends the universe He Himself created?

God loses nothing in terms of Glory, nor is He diminished in the least by giving the throne to His son to rule until all is fulfilled, because it is God Himself who sits on the throne in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the High Priest of heaven, and the author and perfecter of our faith. Acts 20:28 states quite clearly that it was GOD's blood that bought the church.

It wasn't necessary for the thief on the cross to KNOW or even believe these things to be saved, but had he not died and been filled with the Holy Spirit and grew in the Lord within a congregation of believers he would have come to know and believe many of these, if not all. He would have come to know Jesus not only as savior, but God in human flesh. He wouldn't have understood the scope of this Truth anymore than you or I, but he would have accepted it.

Paul called it a mystery...

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory"

-- 1 Timothy 3:16

And that is certainly what it is. One need not believe it to BECOME saved, but without this truth, working faithfully and silently in the background there would be salvation for no one.


Whew! That's enough for now... More to follow. It's been a long day, and this table took a lot longer than I expected. I've no idea how to get rid of all the extra space between text and table. Perhaps some kind blogger with greater knowledge than I will lend a hand of experience greater than my own.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 2:14 AM, ,

Observations on Apostasy -- UPDATED

Growth and Entropy:

Ripples, as they expand-- moving further from inception --weaken and fall apart. Unless something outside the force that set them in motion intervenes, the waters will settle and become still.

"A Book of Sevens"

Renewal | Revival:

"...And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

--Genesis 1:2

Earnestly Contending for the Faith--
Six Areas of Truth Under Attack Today:

1) The Virgin Birth-- Without it there is no salvation

2) The Full Diety of Christ-- Without it there is no salvation

3) The Blood Atonement-- Without it there is no salvation

4) The Bodily Resurrection-- Without it there is no salvation

5) The Visible Return of Christ Jesus-- Without it there is no salvation

6) The Inerrancy of the Word of God-- Without it there is no salvation

Five Pictures By Which the Apostate is Recognized:

1) "These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear..." --Jude 12a

2) "...clouds they are without water, carried about of winds..." --Jude 12b

3) "...trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;" --Jude 12c

4) "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame..." --Jude 13a

5) "...wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. " --Jude 13b


UPDATED I: Five Pictures By Which the Apostate is Recognized

1) "...spots in your feasts of charity"

The word translated "spots" in the Greek is Spilas, which is more accurately translated as "reefs". A reef is of course a hidden danger beneath the surface that lies in wait for the careless ship to run a' ground-- pierce the hull, perhaps even sink the ship altogether. The Apostate is just such a reef to the unwary congregation.

So the first characteristic of an Apostate is that of a 'Hidden Danger' whose only purpose is to shipwreck the Church of God... to draw them down beneath the waves of sin and apostasy.

2) "...clouds they are without water, carried about of winds"

Here is a picture of promise, or rather the lack thereof. Not every cloud in the sky carries with it the promise of rain; the promise of watered fields, fat harvests, bountiful yields. Instead they are carried about "of winds". In Ephesians 4:14, the Church at Ephesus is told they have been given everything and everyone they need to perfect their faith; to cease being children, "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby [the apostate]lie in wait to deceive..." [Emphasis mine]

So the second characteristic of an Apostate is the picture of an 'Empty Vessel, Devoid of Promise'

3) "...without fruit, twice dead..."

Here the Apostate is pictured as the antithesis of Psalm 1:3-4; there is no life from which their roots can nurture the growth of fruit. Once the flower is pollenated, the fruit begins to swell, then swiftly shrivels and dies-- the tree is worthless, and uprofitable; taking up space within the orchard another tree might use to better results. Over all, such trees diminish the entire orchard's yield; it does not produce as much as it could. Furthermore, whatever disease infects the 'twice dead' tree will eventually spread to the rest of the orchard. Such trees should be, as Jude 12 suggests, "plucked up by the roots". Jesus said such trees will be cast onto the fire.

The third characteristic of an Apostate, then, is 'Fruitlessness' and it carries with it the promise of weakening the congregation's own fruitfulness, and testimony.

4) "...raging waves of the sea..."

The Greek here is 'kuma agrios thalassa' which translates as 'billows field of-sea' where the word 'field' is idiomatic of 'wild'. What is a 'wild, billowing' sea if not raging? So too is the Apostate; wild and raging in his conversation with the world, AND the congregation. Any ship sailing on such waters risks sinking; losing every man aboard. The Apostate is just such a sea, well-meaning or otherwise, upon whom the congregation risks the life of it's membership in terms of fruitfulness and the devastating reefs that will wreck a congregation's testimony and effectiveness in reaching the lost for Christ.

The fourth characteristic of an Apostate is his 'Unruliness.' Being unable to get victory over his own passions he will drag the church down with him.

5. "...wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever..."

Imagine a meteor hurtling toward Earth's atmosphere. If the angle is just right, this piece of cosmic flotsam / jetsom will skip off the bubble that surrounds our planet and speed away into the blackness of space. So too is the Apostate. 2 Timothy 3:1-9 pictures the doom of the Apostate quite well...

"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth... so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith." These same men described in the previous verse 6, as the "sort... which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts..." But verse 9 speaks of the defenses the Lord has laid upon the Truth of God, declaring, "they shall proceed no further..." And so they skip off the atmosphere and find themselves flung into outer darkness.

There is no hint of restoration in Jude 12-13. None whatsoever. The final characteristic of the Apostate is his 'Doom'

This is not to say God cannot pull such a one toward the Light and Truth of God, only that God Himself has declared the doom of such who are Apostates. God can do anything, but the inference here is that the Apostate cannot find salvation because of his greater trust for his own intellect, rather than the simple truths of God.... too simple for many intellectuals to grasp.

"Professing themselves to wise, they became fools."

Romans 1:22

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 12:10 AM, ,

"The amassing of personal and corporate power"

What is 'Politics' ?

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 1:18 PM, ,

I'll be few and far between for awhile....

See you, hopefully, when this period of chastisment ends....

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:26 PM, ,

50,000,000+ and counting....... and slowing.......

"Unless drastic changes are made, American women will lose the right to abortion and the [U.S.] Supreme Court won’t be the cause of it ... the reason will be that physicians either can't or won't perform this essential service."

-– Barbara Radford, former director, National Abortion Federation

"... the greatest threat to abortion rights may no longer be anti-choice judges and politicians, but diminished access to abortion services ..."

-– Nita Lowey, pro-abortion congresswoman, New York's 18th congressional district

"... the availability of abortions is diminishing because fewer doctors are willing to perform the procedure."

-– The Washington Post

"Those who run abortion clinics, even in large cities, say that recruiting doctors is now their most serious problem."

-– The San Francisco Chronicle

"... no doctors want to come and work in abortion clinics. Guess what? No nurses want to come and work in abortion clinics."

-– Genevieve Grein, manager, Choice Medical Group, Santa Cruz, Calif.

"Abortion is a matter of choice in this country not only for women but for physicians as well. All over the country, most physicians are choosing not to do it..."

-– American Medical News

A growing number of Americans are outraged over 3,000+ American Soldiers killed in the War on Terror, yet worried that the number of abortions in America are declining...

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:14 PM, ,

Abortion & Exodus 21

Or more specifically... Exodus 21:22-25

"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

Estase, commenting on "Roe v. Wade Soon to be Moot?", makes mention of Exodus 21. While I have read the Bible in its entirety, I was nonetheless unfamiliar with this passage, and so I felt compelled to spend some time researching this on the net. What I found were hordes of sites that look at Exodus 21:22-25 as conferring no special status as 'human' to the unborn child, therefore making abortion okey-dokey in God's eyes. Of course I disagree. I don't need 10,000 sites claiming it's okay when my spirit tells me it's not.

As Dan pointed out in comments at Mark's place, "Words have meaning", and a more than cursory look at the words and their relational implications is therefore required. On the surface words can say something entirely different than what they mean in relation to sentence structure, choice of words, and economy of language.

At ApologeticsPress.Org I found an article on Abortion and Exodus 21 which DOES weigh the sentence structure with word usage and economy of language in the NKJV, the NIV, AND the ASV. From the article:

"Third, consider the next phrase in the verse in question: "yet no lasting harm follows" (NKJV), "but there is no serious injury" (NIV), "and yet no harm follow" (ASV). These English renderings capture the Hebrew accurately. Absolutely no grammatical indication exists in the text by which one could assume the recipient of the injury to be either the mother or the child to the exclusion of the other. As Fishbane observed: "it is syntactically and grammatically unclear whether the object of the 'calamity' is the foetus or the pregnant mother" (1985, p. 93). In order to allow Scripture to stand on its own and speak for itself, one must conclude that to understand "injury" to refer exclusively to the mother is to narrow the meaning without textual justification.

"Hence, one is forced to conclude that the absence of specificity was deliberate on the part of the inspired writer and that he intended for the reader to conclude that the prescription applied to both mother and child. The wording is, therefore, the most appropriate and economical if the writer intended to convey all possible scenarios without having to go into tedious elaboration..."

It is obvious, even in the KJV, that no differentiation between mother and child is made. It is therefore no stretch at all to say that harming and/or killing an unborn child is NOT AT ALL okey-dokey in God's eyes.

Imagine that! Words do indeed have meaning!

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:23 PM, ,

Addendum: The Fair Tax

I only offer this because I brought up the Fair Tax in the comment thread of my "What Liberals Think" post....

I received the following email yesterday from Congressman John Linder.
Use the "Here's More" link for the entire email.

FairTax Momentum Builds on Capitol Hill

With so much happening on Capitol Hill during the change from Republican to Democrat control, I have not had an opportunity to update you on the status of the FairTax. I have heard from many of you who fear that the change in power on Capitol Hill has doomed the FairTax, but I am writing to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

A decisive election like the one last November has an uncanny way of focusing politicians on the real reasons that their constituents sent them to Washington . Given the broad nationwide support of the voters for the FairTax, this refocusing is very good news for the FairTax cause.

The opportunity for FairTax this year was obvious on the very first day of this 110th Congress. I reintroduced H.R. 25 on that day, and I did it with more than twice as many original cosponsors than we had for its introduction in the last Congress. Even more exciting, I was able to introduce the FairTax as a bipartisan bill for the first time since 2003. Congressman Dan Boren, a Democrat from Oklahoma, joined me and 23 other colleagues from 11 different states to reintroduce the bill on January 4, 2007. Never before has the FairTax been reintroduced with such broad support.

This record-setting first day of the 110th Congress was only the beginning. Today, just over one month into this Congress, the FairTax and its supporters have amassed an extraordinary 52 cosponsors from 24 states. To put this accomplishment in perspective, in the 107th Congress, we never came anywhere close to this number; in the 108th Congress, we only barely achieved it after two full years; and in the last Congress, the 109th, the FairTax reached 52 cosponsors only after 15 months of hard work by volunteers across the country. As of today in the 110th Congress, the FairTax has garnered this level of support after just one month. Friends, I am under no illusion that we will continue to double the number of Congressional FairTax cosponsors every 30 days, but I am certain that this record-breaking start will produce more broken records and surpassed milestones for the FairTax as we move forward.

As you celebrate these early successes with me, I encourage you to make particular note of the FairTax cosponsors who have never before cosponsored the legislation. Among these names are freshmen Congressmen Timothy Walberg from Michigan and David Davis from Tennessee and veteran Congressmen Dave Weldon of Florida and Ed Whitfield of Kentucky. Another new name on the FairTax that I know you will want to notice is long-time supporter but first-time cosponsor, former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert.

Of course, the success we are seeing on Capitol Hill is simply a reflection of the enthusiasm for the FairTax that is growing across the entire nation. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined together with Americans for Fair Taxation to promote the FairTax. Newspaper articles and editorials are being written almost daily to help educate people on the many benefits of the FairTax, and FairTax rallies are being attended by thousands of people. I want to continue to participate in these exciting FairTax events, and I hope that you will join me at one of them.

The FairTax will be the next grassroots revolution, but the FairTax is a huge idea that will take a great deal of passion to enact. I encourage you to get out there and support the FairTax by telling your friends and neighbors. Everyone knows that the income tax code is complicated and oppressive, but not everyone knows that the FairTax will free them from this intrusive burden. One-by-one, we will win their hearts and minds.

Congratulations to you and all other FairTax supporters on the incredible success that we have seen so far this year. Together, if we remain firm in our commitment and dedication to the cause, we will make the FairTax a reality.

My best,

John Linder

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 2:37 PM, ,

Lifted Entirely From Neal Boortz


Now let's sit back a bit here and watch the media at work.

Yesterday you saw headlines in newspapers and heard many TV talking heads telling you that the Republicans had blocked debate on an anti-war resolution in the U.S. Senate. But is this the way things really happened? Just where did the media get this story? Where did the mainstream media come up with the idea that the Republicans were trying to stop the debate?

Well .. it came from a vote. A cloture vote. Republicans refused to step forward and vote for the cloture motion, so it failed. But just what is a motion for cloture? Why, it's a motion to stop debate and vote on the issue in question! The issue in question here the Democrat non-binding resolution opposing Bush's moves in Iraq.

Are you following this? There's a debate going on in the Senate. The debate is over a Democrat-inspired resolution condemning George Bush and his latest actions in Iraq. The Democrats bring a motion to the floor to stop the debate and vote on the resolution. The Republicans vote against the motion. The debate goes on ... and suddenly the left-wing media is reporting that the Republicans are trying to block debate on the Iraq war in the Senate? On what level does this make sense?

If the situation were reversed and it was the Republicans bring a cloture motion to the floor of the Senate, with the Democrats opposing the motion, you can bet your first born that the mainstream leftist press would be blaming the Republicans for trying to stifle debate in the Senate.

The truth is that the Republicans have kept the debate going ... rather than blocking it. But Harry Reid gets up there and accuses of the Republicans of trying to block debate and the media grabs Reid's slant and runs with it. But what would you expect? Reid is the Democrat leader of the Senate! Do you really expect the media to do anything other than adopt his slant?

There is more to the story. Why are the Democrats so anxious to vote on their anti-war resolution and be done with it? Because the Republicans have another resolution they want considered. It's called the Gregg resolution and it was introduced by Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. The Gregg resolution would state that the Senate would oppose any reduction in funding for troops in Iraq. Harry Reid called Gregg's resolution a "diversionary tactic" and refused to allow it to come to a vote. So the Republicans have in turned refused to allow the Democrats anti-war resolution to come to a vote. The Democrats are afraid that the Gregg resolution would get more votes than their favored Warner-Levin anti-war version.. and that would make them look bad.

Now once again, and all together ... "there is no liberal bias to in the mainstream media!"

Yeah .. sure.

Typical Liberal deceit.

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 7:54 PM, ,

Blog Changes?

Judging from the responses I've received lately I'm thinking of changing my blog's title to:

Eric Hates the World
.....And Everything In It

At least-- in proper context --it would be scriptural.

I checked availability, and I could do it. Check out my first post!

....................:: note ::....................

This is of course nothing more than a simple demonstration of "Constructive Sarcasm"...... Those with little or no Biblical understanding (and more than a few of those who do) would not understand.

Many of you out there need to sit astride a shorter horse.

....................:: fini ::....................


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posted by Eric Ashley @ 9:02 AM, ,

What Liberals Think

"The Democrats know what needs to be done. Again, we're working to try to push this agenda forward. The other day the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. (Laughter.) I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to find alternative smart energy, alternatives and technologies that will begin to actually move us toward the direction of independence! (Cheers, applause.)

--Hillary Clinton,
Speaking before the Democratic National Committee, Feb 2, 2007

That's right! The room, filled with Democrats, applauded Hillary's desire to steal from a private company; ie, 'the rich'. Why!? BECAUSE THEY MADE TOO MUCH MONEY! Oh, the cause is noble! Yes, it is! Why, everyone APPLAUDED after all. That must make it right!

Oh, those evil rich! How dare they become successful through hard work and investment while so many of this nations' poor can't manage to save a dime, let alone rub two nickles together. Yes... the poor, with their flat-screen TV's, X-Box's, $1,000 Rims on their ghetto rides...

There are, of course, the genuinely poor: the homeless, the destitute; living under bridges and overpasses, having to depend on the kindness of motorists who kindly discard their aluminum cans on the highway's verge. But Liberals don't really care about 'these poor'... they don't typically vote.

This is who Liberals are.

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 8:10 PM, ,

What Made America Great is Dead - I

One Joe Lynch asked this question somewhere in the wilds of the world wide web...

"Can you point out ONE positive Christian character on TV or in the movies? I mean one who actually reflects Christianity, not a "Christian" who is shown as "liberal" or "progessive" on social issues?

"I can't think of ONE."

I can't think of one either. What say you?

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 8:03 PM, ,

Another Superbowl First?

Jim Nantz of CBS Sports: "This is one of those moments, Tony, where there is also social significance in this victory, and to have your hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Tell me what this means to you right now."

Tony Dungy: "I'll tell you what. I'm proud to be representing African-American coaches, to be the first African-American to win this. It means an awful lot to our country. But again, more than anything, I've said it before, Lovie Smith and I, not only the first two African-Americans, but Christian coaches showing that you can win doing it the Lord's way. And we're more proud of that."

Imagine that, being more proud of Jesus than the fact that he's black. Now THAT is a man with a Godly perspective!

I didn't watch the superbowl [little 's']. I had intended to go the church, but with this cold I've got... well, I made the morning service, but was too tired and achy for the evening. What I did see was all the rain!-- can't very well call the game on account of rain! Not with the amount of money the NFL and CBS had on the line.

On a side note, I watched the half-time show and was almost completely unimpressed. The artist formerly known as 'The Artist Fomerly Known as 'Prince'' actually played his guitar. He's not the smooth virtuoso of an Eddie Van Halen or a Joe Perry, and not even remotely in Alex lifeson's league [that's enough of a clue for to give away my tastes-- musically, if not lyricly] but it was passable, if not particularly inspiring. Prince's material was likewise uninspiring.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 8:24 AM, ,

The Face of My Sister...

"Similar to the days of the Israelites in Moses' time, the Lord's people are still making bricks for their oppressors. However, this modern-day system of slavery takes place in Pakistan, built on the backs of the poorest of believers. The bricks they are making will eventually turn back into dust, but the Kingdom the Lord is building among them is indestructible."

--The Rescue of Azra Bibi, Voice of the Martyrs

        "I am not educated. I liked to watch the other children going to school. I wanted to be a teacher of the Word of God, but my mother only earned $1.14 per day. My father died and we lived hand to mouth. One day I decided to help my mother. I asked her, 'Mom, can you teach me how to make a brick?' I was seven years old when I made my first brick. Between the two of us, we made 1,000 bricks a day. On Fridays my mother and I used to go to the market to buy our daily household items. I always liked to shop. Sometimes I could buy clips for my hair.
        The kiln owner wouldn't allow us to go to church so my mother always told the owner, 'We are going to see our relatives,' or 'We are going to the market.' I liked to see the church programs on Christmas day, especially the Christmas songs and plays. I also like to hear about the miracles of Jesus Christ. Although we could not sneak to church every Sunday, every morning and in the evening my mother and I would pray. We sang worship songs from cassettes. One song went like this, 'I am weak in my heart; Jesus, encourage me and strengthen me.'"

        "...Muhannad Akram, one of the men who tortured and killed my mother, took me to another place. He locked me in a room of a big home. There was an armed security guard present.
        'Muhammad Akram is a 70-year-old man. He came into my room and made advances towards me. I cried. I joined my hands in prayer in front of him and begged him to stop, but he violated me. After he left I prayed, "Oh Lord, it is good if You call me home; at least I will see You. I will stay with You and rest in peace. Jesus, I want to come to You. Please call me home.' I wanted to die."
        "Muhammad Akram often came into my room. He kept trying to convert me to Islam, I told him, 'My God is an alive God. How can I leave the alive God and accept your faith?' He decided to force me to marry him. He and the kiln owner planned my wedding day..."

        "...the day my marriage was supposed to take place, the pastor came with the money. They paid the money to the kilm owner, but Muhammad Akram was very angry. He beat and injured the pastor, but I was still set free."

What a beautiful picture, and what a beautiful picture of grace her word's express. Christians have it very easy in America, though the climate is changing. We are taught to expect persecution, and we are admonished to persevere... to hold to our faith. As Azra did.

Sadly, not everyone is rescued.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 12:39 AM, ,

The Price of Compassion

My pastor founded a bible college and seminary in town, Bethany Bible College and Seminary. It's been preparing men and women to serve God for well over thirty years. There are also two extension campuses; one in South Korea, and another in Newfoundland, Canada. Although I'm finding it difficult to imagine Newfoundland with population enough to support such a school, my lack of imagination, nonetheless, is not at issue. What is at issue is that five years ago my pastor’s wife died-- complications of the liver. And because he regularly takes trips to South Korea, he had occasion to meet a Godly woman, whom God in due time graciously gave to him as a wife a year after the death of his first wife.

Now, four years later, his new wife, Mi'e, is sick. Her daughter Hajin has sought to come to this country to be with her mother; this is perfectly understandable. I know my pastor genuinely loves his wife, and cares deeply for her daughter, now his own. He has spent a considerable amount of time, effort, and money for lawyers, immigration fees, and travel expenses so that his wife might have her daughter at her side; again, this is perfectly understandable considering a man's genuine love for his wife.

The Immigration Service has been dragging their feet for months. There continues to be no news about Hajin's status. When her visa expires she will likely have to leave and come back. We want her to stay. The no good honest reason why she shouldn't be allowed to stay.

So. Early last week my pastor took his wife to a doctor in Ozark-- a thirty-minute drive north. Why they went there I don’t know; he didn’t elaborate, but there are two very fine hospitals here in Dothan, and more doctors than you can shake a stick at. I can only assume this doctor is a specialist.

At the conclusion of their visit, my pastor asks the doctor if he wouldn't mind writing a letter on his wife's behalf, explaining her condition, that the immigration service might see fit to grant Hajin a green card so she can be with her mother. The doctor said, "I'll have to think about it."

Late Friday evening the doctor called and said he could write the letter my pastor requested..... for $3,500.

I am personally outraged at this. It's not enough that doctors—especially specialists—make a killing already, but this man, on top of all the other indignities doctors force upon their patients, resorts to extortion. My trust of doctors is already pretty low, but this simply beats all I've ever seen. I know there are good honest doctors out there, but why are they so far and few between?

What worth does this doctor place on compassion? 3,500 bucks.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 1:51 PM, ,

In the Light of a Dying Sun, Book One

What follows is the fourth tale of a larger body of work called 'Beneath the Light of a Dying Sun'. The premise is one part Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron, one part Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, and one part Eric's Own Fevered Imagination... It is what it is without apology.

I'll give you the first few paragraphs then follow the
Here's More link

The Last Daughter of Ombrial - IV
Terrapin and Hare

"Tell us another story of the Sun priests," called out a voice.

"Tell us the one of Terrapin and Hare," called another.

The elder motioned for silence and the village awaited Ambriasa, but Elder spoke first.

"You have told us of the Sun priests and their decline into wickedness," he began. "Tell us now of their end. Ombrial told this tale but once and seemed to have a purpose in the telling, but I have never understood why. And of his reason he never spoke. If you know of his purpose behind the telling of this tale," he said with the sweep of a thin arm to those assembled, "tell us now that we might carry this message in our hearts."

Her son handed her the water bowl and she drank before setting it aside.

"My father spoke to me once on this when I was very young, and instructed me to never forget, for in forgetting, he said, we repeat what has gone before. The Ancient of ancients speaks to us all and gives to us answers that only we can understand; the O'chelot knew this and tried to warn e'Urom. It is no mans place to tell another what he must believe, for the Ancient of ancients has given that choice to each of us.

"e'Urom was unhappy with his life, for he listened to men and not to the Ancient of ancients Himself. The Sun priests perpetuated this form and so ruled the world and grew corruption wherever they trode, becoming agents for and to themselves. My father knew this from the stories he drew from the amber book.

"I often thought the amber book to be magic, and my father its magician. The amber book itself may indeed be magic, but my father was just a man who loved stories. Who better to possess such a gift?"

She paused with a smile to the crowd gatherered among the columned ruins. "But the real magic lies in the womb, for it is there that life is kindled and truth established. And while the womb kindles life, the heart kindles propensity, which, if left untended, spawns wickedness.

"The truth my father hoped to tell was this: Believe for yourself or another will believe for you, and demand tithe for doing it.

"This place where we have gathered, in the Hall of the Ancients, whose pillars once shone in the dimmest light, now lay shattered and pitted upon the stones whereon great men once stood. To whom did they once belong? None now know with any surety, but we have always met here for the Rite of Remembrance. We come from as far as Endry to remember, for this has been the place where tales are told and passage given."

The fire leapt as a woman added more dung, and slowly the nights chill was pushed further back. The faces about the fire grew more distinct and the intensity written upon them strengthened her. This was a long tale.

"My father knew this place, but told few. 'Some would not believe,' he said. 'Most do not believe the tales in the amber book to have any life outside the mind and heart, that the places it describes were ever truly real.' But in this very place Terrapin performed the first Rite of Remembrance for the brother stolen from him, and returning to Hare those things taken from him.

"And that is what we do here, we remember what has been taken from us and take back unto ourselves those things that are ours by right. You give me passage because you know what has been taken from me. The tales that I tell show you who I am. No imposter knows where I have laid my fathers bones. You accept me for who I am and return to me what has been taken from me.

"This is where we sit. This is where we cry. And this is where we remember. My father knew these things. He knew because of the amber book. It gave him knowledge, and it made him wise. It gave him truth and it was his love to share that truth with any who would listen and hear its tales."

She looked about to the faces that ringed her and said at last,

"I will tell you now the story of Terrapin and Hare... "

At the height of the Sun Temple a war was waged between its priests and the Ohmican Citidan. The Temple sought to bend his will to its own but the armies it grew could not break the walls of the Citidan's fortress.

By the Rules of War that were, only the principles of war and their liegen were subject to the penalties of war; Citizens un-accoutered for battle were ignored and considered unseen, for in this way a lands riches were spared. And while the Citidan abided by the Rule of War, the Sun Temple did not.

There was also in that day, an Ohmican seeress who dreamt true dreams. To her this gift was a great burden, but for those who sought visions of the future, she was accorded respect given only to Citidans and priests. For a small price she would sell her dreams, and so it was she made her living. Her fame grew and spread over time until word of her gift reached the ear of the high priest of the Sun Temple, who, being prideful called himself the Sun o'Cluseon, for he believed his own glory to obscure Sun himself.

The Citidan, of course, knew of the Temple’s contempt for the rule of war and so kept his wife, the Citidanat Imbrala, locked within the fortress. But over time she grew restless in her confinement, and began to seek ways in which she might, for a time, escape the home that was now become a prison to her. The Citidan at last noticed his young wife’s unhappiness and consented to give her leave, though only for a time; for the Citidanat was with child, and fearing for his wife’s health, he sent her to a stronghold in the mountains where she might be cared for away from the rigors of war.

The van he grew to escort the Citidanat were, to the eye, of the un-accoutered class and so could not be, by law, hindered or waylaid by the Temple liegen, but the o'Cluseon ordered her van taken a day beyond the fortress walls, killing all her guards.

And so begins the tale of Terrapin and Hare.

Citidanat Imbrala was soon to deliver and her bearance had become poor since her capture. Fearing for her safety, the o'Cluseon called upon apotecaries to tend her and ordered the Ohmican seeress to be brought to the Temple that he might ask her for the future of his deed, for Imbrala was well loved by the people. Should anything happen to her the Citidan would call upon the people to stand against the Temple, and despite all its power, the Temple could not wage a war on two fronts.

The Seeress was an old woman, stooped and lined like stone, but her eyes shone with knowledge and strength. Her staff of iron rang upon the stones of the temple as she approached the Sun o'Cluseon.

"Why have you done this thing o'Cluseon?" She asked. "Indeed, why have you called upon me? If you think I will aid you in this thing you are mad!"

"Be still, Seeress," the o'Cluseon snarled. "I require but one thing of you. You will dream your dream and grow for me the future of my actions. What must I do to insure my victory and secure defeat for the Citidan Ohmica?"

She looked upon the o'Cluseon and laughed. "What will you give me for the dream I grow, for I am a poor woman?"

"Your life," he said, and saw her eyes grow dead.

"Very well," she said at last. "I will need a lock of her hair that has been wet in her own spit. Bring that to me," she said with a rap of her staff upon the stones, "and allow me the night in which to grow the dream and when the Sun wakens I will give you the answer you seek."

It was done as she asked, and under the pale light of a sliver moon she worked the charms that allowed her to see the future. She dreamt long and hard as the night deepened and upon sunwaken she rose and went to the Temple gardens to await the o'Cluseon’s summons.

Though the hour was yet early she came upon Imbrala weeping beside a fountain at the gardens center. "Do not cry, Citidanat, you will see your home once more."

"But what of my child?" Imbrala cried.

"You shall bear two sons, Citidanat, this very night. Two sons, though you will only take one with you."

"Only one?" Imbrala wept, "why but one? Will the other die? Tell me Seeress, why I'll not take both with me?

The Seeress sat beside the Citidanat and held her young hands in her own.

"You will bear two sons, Citidanat, and both shall live," she softly spoke, "but you must sacrifice one son to ensure this. If you refuse one son, you will lose both. I have seen it. The one you lose will be raised by the o'Cluseon, and will be raised to hate the Citidan. And you."

"This is too horrible!" Imbrala cried. "Better to lose one son in death than to lose him through hatred. How can I do this thing?"

"Ahhh, but child," the Seeress smiled, "he will come to hate the Sun o'Cluseon more, and therein lies your revenge. Very shortly the o'Cluseon will call upon me to tell him my dream. I shall tell him that you will bear two children, and that animal signs shall mark both. One shall bear upon his forehead the image of a hare, while the other shall bear the terrapin. I will tell him he must choose one and allow you to leave with the other, but to choose wisely, for in his choice lay victory or defeat. He will wish to choose the child marked by the terrapin because of it's resemblance to the Sun they worship, but I will convince him otherwise. It will be a small lie, but I will tell it for the manner in which I have been treated. Nor will I tell him of his death. In this way you will live to see the o'Cluseon dead."

"What more will you tell me, Seeress?" Imbrala asked.

"There now, child," she smiled, patting the Citidanat’s hand, "I have told you more than I should. Fear not. It is possible you may gain the son you lose when all is come to an end, but I cannot say for certain, for the thread grows too thin to see so far ahead. Leave with the son he gives you and be happy."

"Thank-you, Seeress. I will try."

There came shortly a pair of priests and they led the Seeress away. Imbrala gathered her mettle and waited for evening. She would have two sons! One she would leave in the Sun o'Cluseon’s hand, and the other she would raise to hate the Sun Temple.

The Seeress was led to the o'Cluseon who demanded of her the dream.

"O great o'Cluseon, Here is the dream and the veracity of my word, for on this very night the Citidanat shall end her bearance and bring forth two sons. Both sons will bear the animal sign: one, the terrapin and the other, the hare. In the midst of their foreheads shall they be marked. One of these sons you must take unto yourself and raise against the Citidan himself, the other you must send away with its mother. Take no child and you will surely die, take both and you die inside the year. That is the dream I have grown for you."

The o'Cluseon rose slowly and with an air of triumph spoke, "Tell me, Seeress," he smiled, "what are the shape of these signs the children shall bear?"

She moved to the fire and taking a lump of coal drew the signs on the floor. The one was like unto a hare in flight the other was a sun with six points.

"The choice is clear, Seeress." he laughed. "I will choose the sun."

"You must not," she cautioned and shook her rod at him. "The Ancients conspire against you, hoping you will choose the terrapin."

"How so, Seeress?"

"The terrapin is slow upon the earth. To defeat the Citadan you must choose swiftness. The swift stroke kills, the slow stroke dies with the oblate in his back. Send the Terrapin back with its mother and the Citidan will die at the hand of Hare, this I swear."

"One thing more," she said. "Do not tell the Citidanat that she has bore two children. To do this, the first child must be rushed out of her hearing before it utters a cry. They will come one after the other and in this manner she will not know she has borne two. I will give you herbs to dull her senses to insure she does not remember the pain of two."

And the sun o'Cluseon believed her dream.

In the years that passed the war between the Citidan and the Sun Temple grew, but the Citidan cared more for the raising of his son whom he had named for the mark he bore. Terrapin.

The Citidanat Imbrala did not tell her husband of his other son, but went often to the walls to see the son she forsook. For once each moon the Temple held processions through the city and beside the Sun o'Cluseon himself, sat always her other son, who had been named the Son of the Great Sun, and given the title Sun c'Cluseon. Over the mark of the hare was painted a golden sun, and his hair was dusted with gold.

The Sun c'Cluseon was worshipped by Temple followers almost as much as the Sun himself, but he grew more and more uneased by their worship with each year that passed, and grew to hate the Temple that sheltered him.

Seasons changed and years spun, and the two children grew strong and true. Terrapin learned the art of rule by the side of his father the Citidan, while c'Cluseon learned oppression at the hand of o'Cluseon, the man he knew as father. The Citidan titled the son he knew Ohmicar but everyone called him by the sign upon his forehead, and so it was at the feast celebrating his confirmation, he was crowned Terrapin Ohmicar.

As was custom, every citizen of Ohmica, regardless of feud or allegiance, was invited to the Citadel to pay respect to the future Citidan. And so it was that Terrapin Ohmicar met his brother for the first time.

The Citidanat saw in this occasion a chance to gain both sons, and destroy the o'Cluseon once and for all as she had been promised. In the weeks before the crowning of Terrapin, Imbrala summoned the Seeress to grow for her a dream, like unto the one grown for o'Cluseon years before.

"Dream for me how I may destroy the Sun o'Cluseon," she begged, "and I will give thee eighteen tohns of gold. One for each year I have wept for the son I lost."

"Eighteen tohns?" Laughed the old woman, "and what would I do with so much gold? Buy a throne?" And she cackled more.

"What ever you wish, Seeress." Pled Imbrala.

"I will take thirty-six tohns, Citidanat." Answered the old woman. "Eighteen more for the son you do have."

"Very well, you shall have it! Tell me what I must do!"

"Bring to me a lock of Terrapins hair wet upon his tongue," she began, "and bring to me a lock of your own that has been wet by tears shed for the son you have lost, and I will do as you ask."

When these were given over to the Seeress she went alone to the rooms given her beneath the open sky, and dreamt the dream, and she knew upon waking that it was the mightiest of all her dreams. And she trembled for the powers she had drawn upon.

When the morning of the feast began she called the Citidanat to her and demanded she call upon Terrapin.

"For he will be the instrument of your revenge," she explained. "By his hand Justice shall be meted, and the Sun Temple will see its final hour pass."

When Terrapin arrived she commanded Imbrala to tell him all that had gone before. And when he knew at last of the son stolen from his father the Citidan, the brother robbed from him, he was wroth with anger.

"Why have you said nothing, mother!" he demanded

"Because there was a chance I might gain the son I lost; your brother, but only if I kept silent. I would have lost both of you had I not done this." And she hid her face and wept.

"Have you never wondered, young Terrapin, about the mark you bear?" Asked the Seeress. "Have you never wondered why the c'Cluseon wears a golden sun upon his own brow, a thing no other priest has ever worn? It is to hide the mark akin to yours, yet different."

"Akin yet different?"

"Your brother bears the mark of the hare upon his brow." She explained. "The o'Cluseon thought to hide the hare from any eye that might suspect the truth: that you and c'Cluseon are brothers."

Terrapin trembled in anger and cursed the Sun o'Cluseon. "My brother has been stolen from me."

"Would you take him back, young Terrapin?" The Seeress asked, "For that is what you must do. Only you can do this. That is why I counseled the o'Cluseon to take the hare, for your brother is the weaker of you. He could not do what you must. It is not a flaw that lies within him, it is simply his nature."

"What must I do?" He said.

On that same morning the sun o'Cluseon called his son that he might speak with him, and he spun a tale to enrage the young man, that he might incite him to destroy the Citidan.

"You must know this day that I am not your father, young c'Cluseon."

c'Cluseon, who had never felt at home in the Sun Temple, grew troubled and questioned the man.

"But father, I have always been your son, why do you tell me this? Am I not a good son to you?"

"You have been a fine son, c'Cluseon, yet you are not mine. You were abandoned at the door of this Temple when you were but a day old." Inwardly he smiled, for the end of his long plan seemed close to hand.

"Then who is my father?" The boy asked. "Who is my mother?"

"Ah, but more importantly," spoke o’Cluseon, "who is your brother?

"I have a brother?"

"Indeed you do. Terrapin Ohmicar is your brother."

"I am brother to the Citidar?" c'Cluseon asked with surprise. "If my true family had been poor and could not feed two growing sons, I could understand why they might give one son away, but the Citidan? He is rich beyond knowing. Truly he is the beast you have always named him to be."

"Yes, my son,” the o'Cluseon said, "for indeed you are my son, as I have raised you and cared for you, but the time has come when you must take back what was taken from you. For you, my son, were first born."

"First born!" cried c'Cluseon, "I am the true Ohmicar?" And he shook with fury. "Why was not my brother given away?" He demanded.

"For the sign upon your brow." o'Cluseon lied. It was thought that the beast upon your brow was the weaker of the two and because the Temples struggle with the Citidan it decided that the stronger of the two must one-day rule and they chose your brother because the beast he wears is like unto the sun we worship. The Citidan thought to pit his Sun against ours. Against you." And his words sank into c'Cluseon’s broken heart and began to fester.

"And my mother?” He asked, "Why did she not just lie about who had been first born? How could she give away her own child?"

"In defense of the Citidanat, it was not her choice. She begged me to take you and raise you as my own. She loved you deeply."

"Why would she give her son to the enemy of her husband?" asked c'Cluseon and his father finished the lie.

"In hope that you would destroy the Citidan, for she could not forgive him for sending you away. And to hide her deception, it was agreed that a golden sun would be painted upon your brow to cover the mark of the hare, lest your father see it and recognize you. That is also why I chose your name such as it is, for you have been secluded within sight of the Citidan who spurned you."
With a voice cold as stone c'Cluseon spoke,

"The Sun is my father, and I shall destroy his rival."

And so it was that c'Cluseon came alone from the Temple with but a small escort of liegen. o'Cluseon laughed and reveled in the fine joke he played in sending to the Citidan the son he did not know. The son who would that night slay him.

Sun fell, drawing the curtain behind him, and citizens from across the land came to greet Terrapin Ohmicar, future Citidan of Ohmica, but c'Cluseon held back that he might be last and so confront his brother. He studied his brother’s face and saw many similarities he had not noticed before, indeed, he was the mirror of Terrapin, and his anger deepened. He approached his brother at last and spoke.

"Greetings Terrapin Ohmicar. I extend the hand of friendship from the Sun Temple in hopes that the future might see an end to our war." And he bowed, though it hurt him to do so.

"Greetings, Brother," whispered Terrapin with a grim smile. "What was once stolen from us has returned. You are indeed welcome."

"Stolen? Brother?" c'Cluseon hissed with scorn. "Our mother cast me away and though I hate my station, I am far from returned!"

"You have been lied to, my brother, as have I. For I have just this day learned that you and I are brothers. I have just this day learned of the Sun o'Cluseon's treachery in breaking the rule of war and stealing my brother. I would see him dead!"

"And I would see the Citidan dead, for choosing you over me!"

"My father, your true father, knows of only one son. Our mother hid from him the knowledge of you to prevent the escalation of our war, knowing that the day would come when you would be returned to us."

"How could our mother know this?"

"From the same Ohmican Seeress who dreamt for the Sun o'Cluseon his own means of supremacy. You, my brother, were to be his instrument of revenge against our father, the Citidan. But let us retire from this gathering and talk of this alone, we must speak of how we shall be revenged for having been stolen from each other. You have lost your rightful place as a son of the Citidan, but I have lost my brother."

Terrapins speech was not what c'Cluseon had expected, and was in awe of his brother’s words. Words that made him at last feel kinship for another.

I have a brother, he thought, a brother who wants me.

The room they stood in, like all the rooms within the palace was lined with columns grown up from the marble floors unto the timbered ceilings high above. The cool winds that blew over the walls of the palace, chilled c'Cluseon. A servant stepped forward and laid a robe over his shoulders and from behind he heard his brothers voice.

"What was stolen from you; the comfort of family, the warmth of our love, is restored to you."

A tear welled in c'Cluseons eye, as servants came with scented water and cloths and began to wash the golden star from his brow. He heard his brother voice once more.

"What was stolen from you; the name upon your brow; c'Cluseon no more, is restored to you."
His vision washed away in a stream of tears, and he felt a heavy ring slid upon his finger and the voice of his brother yet again.

"What was stolen from you; the wealth of your father, and his acceptance as son, is restored to you. For this very night he has learned of you and has left our revenge in my hands alone, but only by your word."

c'Cluseon wiped the tears from his eyes and looked upon his brother, who wore a mask terrible in its wrath. "What say you, Hare. My brother."

Hare thought for long moments and finally spoke.

"I say this, brother. I have learned from a child to hate you. I have learned to hate the Citidan my father, and even the Citidanat my mother, but I have learned to hate the Sun Temple and the Sun o'Cluseon more. The priesthood is corrupt. They care not for the people, but only for their own gain and supremacy. It is time this war ended, true, but it is long since time the Sun Temple was destroyed. Completely and utterly." He paused a moment to breathe deep his new home. "Is what you have shown me here the truth, or a lie? Am I truly home, or do you use me?"

"If you tell me to do nothing, brother, then nothing will be done, but you are ours, stolen from us, and now returned. The Sun Temple will fall. Perhaps not this night, nor the next, but I swear to you brother, it will fall, and I would not lose you again in its crashing." And he embraced his brother and kissed his cheek.

"The priests must not all die," whispered Hare, "there is still some good within the Temple walls."

"We will spare all those who do not resist."

"But o'Cluseon and his ministers must all die. Strike the head lest they return again to bite. And the Temple must be burned. The walls taken down and each stone used to another purpose. Its riches must be given to the people of Ohmica. To each person his share."

"It shall be as you say. Now, I must enter the Temple in your stead, and open the gate for our leigen. Will you share with me your knowledge of the Temple's interior?"

While the servants accoutered Terrapin to the image of c'Cluseon they spoke amongst themselves. They had not been long from the hall, but some noticed that the Ohmicar and c'Cluseon had gone off by themselves, and they began to whisper. Some thought this a good sign, that the war may soon end, but others saw in this only the first of many wars between future rivals.

Terrapin Ohmicar stepped from the curtains behind his throne and the Sun c'Cluseon followed. To the guests they both looked angry, though the face of the Sun c'Cluseon was more so, and with a small bow to the Ohmicar he strode from the chamber amid open whispers with his liegen behind.

In the midst of the assembly he ordered one temple guard forward.

"Go quickly to the Temple and have the baths ready, that I might wash Terrapin Ohmicar's stink from me." And the man sped off.

Hare's words echoed in his mind. Things he must say and do, and things he must not. How his new liegen must behave and what they must speak. They needed only to get to the rooms where slept the Sun o'Cluseon.

Each liegenet carried a long oblate of cold iron sharpened on each edge. Killing would become necessary, but they needed only slay the o'Cluseon. Two liegenet were to relieve the gatemen, and at the horns calling open the gate to the Citidan's leigen who would destroy any who resisted and begin the tearing down of the Sun Temple.

The gates were opened to them when they arrived and the gatesmen relieved. The Halls were just as his brother had spoke them, and because of the face he wore none opposed him though some eye was given to the liegen about him, but they reached the chamber where slept the great o'Cluseon himself without difficulty.

It was known that the meaning behind the title was long forgotten, but Terrapin laughed inside himself at the irony of the occlusion he himself would lay over the Sun Temple. But despite his hatred, the sight of so old and frail a man stirring upon his bed grew pity in his heart. But it stood no ground against the hatred that shone in his eyes.

"What is it, c'Cluseon?" Asked the old man. "I thought to stay awake until your return but the hour grew late. Surely we can speak of this evening come sunwaken."

"Forgive me father, but this cannot wait." And with those words the liegen with him rushed forward and together plunged their oblates into the old man, staining his sheets with blood and sacrifice, and the pleas of the dying man.

"It is done." Terrapin spoke. "Sound the horn." And a young liegenet, blood fresh upon his oblate, ran to the outer court and blew upon a horn of ibex and silver. Its note carried over the walls to the leigen beyond and into the dreams of a sleeping world. The gates opened and the Citidan's liegen poured into the doomed Temple.

In seven moons the last of the Temple's foundation was finally removed. The earth it had sat upon was planted with timber carried long distances from lands far to the north. In seven turns the Citadan passed and Terrapin rose to his place, and chose to share the throne with his brother. Together Terrapin and Hare ruled wisely, and for generations the world grew in peace.
Hare grew to love Imbrala, his mother. The words of the Seeress fulfilled and the tale ended. But Terrapin and Hare were the last of the truly great Citidans, for in destroying the Sun Temple they set their own decline in stone. The world moved on. Zon shifted from her bed and fell no more where Enohtoo perished. The years grew longer and the sun itself dimmed its face as if to mourn the passing of its priests.

The hall where we now sit was once the Citidans great hall, whose pillars grew from the polished stones upon which they rested, pillars whose glory are long faded and pocked with age, broken and tumbled upon Earth. The stars themselves have moved from their ancient seats and the tales from the amber book but show us all what we have lost.


"I hope to learn from the memories of Terrapin and Hare. That is both the message of the story and the storyteller. By the ancient words I call this tale done and ask your leave."

"And thus it is remembered," said the Elder, "the story is given, and Passage is granted. May his memory live forever."

"May his memory live forever."

Previous Chapters:

I The Cradle of Giants
II The Wind and the Rain
IIIAgates and Gold

And for a glimpse of where I'm going with it all...

Note to Self...

Sometime after Valentines Day I'll post the last installment of Part I, Our Fallen Friend

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 11:57 PM, ,