The Compass vs. The Clock, Put First Things First

The Compass vs. The Clock, Put First Things Firstby Chris Banescu -
The realization that something is not right with our lives can manifest itself in various ways. A feeling of emptiness, a bothersome disquiet, or a strange pain, like a deep sadness or a heartache, gradually or suddenly begins to trouble our souls. We feel guilty, anxious, unsatisfied, stressed, or sad even in moments when we ought to be at peace and carefree; when we should be relaxing or enjoying ourselves. For some this pain is only a vague discomfort. For others, including yours truly, the pain can often be intense and unrelenting; sometimes lasting for long stretches of time.

I discovered the reason for this mysterious affliction in the book First Things First, written by Stephen Covey, Roger Merrill, and Rebecca Merrill. They describe this particular grief as the “pain of the gap,” the gap we sense between the compass and the clock in our lives. Every time we don’t put first things first, when we fail to follow our calling and vocation and focus on the most important things in life, our conscience warns us that something’s not right and corrective measures and proactive actions are required. [Read more...]

Christians Need Each Other to Hear the Word of God

Christians Need Each Other to Hear the Word of Godby Chris Banescu -
This Nativity season it’s good to remember the sacramental role that a Christian community plays in our lives. Man was not created to be alone but live in communion with God and other human beings. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian martyr and theologian, reminds us that our brothers are the means through which Christ, the Word of God, reaches us most powerfully and effectively.

We need each other because the Christ in our “own heart is weaker that the Christ in the word” of our brother. Our own heart can sometimes be uncertain, but our brother’s is sure. That’s why we need other Christians as bearers and proclaimers “of the divine word of salvation” to remind us of the Word of God. [Read more...]

Still, Still, Still – A Beautiful Austrian Christmas Carol

Nativity Manger, Still, Still, Still - Austrian Christmas Carolby Chris Banescu -
Beautiful music often reflects the beauty and majesty of God. It touches our minds, hearts, and souls and gives us a glimpse of the divine. Music is a mystery of creation that reveals part of God’s infinite creativity and love for us.

Pope Benedict XVI once observed that when words are not enough, beautiful music can express the joy and mystery of God’s love. “It is hard to find words to convey the sheer joy of the soul’s loving encounter with God; indeed, the great mystics could only remain silent before the mystery,” he said.

This Christmas season I heard “Still, Still, Still”, an Austrian Christmas carol, for the first time. The very beautiful and moving performance by the orchestra and choir touched my heart and soul. The angelic rendition reminded me of a church hymn. I searched and found the words to share with you. The video of the orchestra and choir is also provided below.

Still, Still, Still – Austrian Christmas Carol
Still, still, still,
The child’s eyes softly close.
And Mary breathless, draws Him, weeping,
To her heart made pure for keeping.
Still, still, still,
The child’s eyes softly close. [Read more...]

Men are Mirrors or ‘Carriers’ of Christ to Other Men

Men are Mirrors or Carriers of Christ to Other Menby Chris Banescu -
C.S. Lewis reminds of the significance of our work and witness in the world and the importance Christian fellowship in bringing Christ and the Truth to others.

“Men are mirrors, or ‘carriers’ of Christ to other men. Sometimes unconscious carriers. This ‘good infection’ can be carried by those who have not got it themselves. People who were not Christians themselves helped me to Christianity. But usually it is those who know Him that bring Him to others.

That is why the Church, the whole body of Christians showing Him to one another, is so important. You might say that when two Christians are following Christ together there is not twice as much Christianity as when they are apart, but sixteen times as much.” ~ C.S. Lewis

This same message was proclaimed by Christ. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

Put Away Your Racist Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Racist Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwichby Chris Banescu -
My fellow Americans, the “subtle language of racism” you’ve been hiding inside your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches has been exposed. Your biased and ethnocentric eating habits are oppressing minorities. The very mention of the words “peanut butter and jelly sandwich” connote “white privilege.” Such intolerant and racist behavior will not be tolerated. Shame on you!

The Portland Tribune reports that Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland, has discovered this racist travesty destroying the very fabric of our society. The “seemingly innocent” peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a cleverly disguised capitalist tool used to promote racism.

Verenice Gutierrez picks up on the subtle language of racism every day.

Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year.

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” says Gutierrez, principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School, a diverse school of 500 students in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood. [Read more...]

Obama Omits ‘God’ From The Gettysburg Address

Obama Omits God From The Gettysburg Addressby Chris Banescu -
One Nation Under Who?
President Obama failed to include the words “under God” while reading from the Gettysburg Address for a PBS documentary. As first reported by Chris Plante, on WMAL, the president recited the Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863. The video clip is part of a PBS documentary created by filmmaker Ken Burns that includes speeches by other celebrities.

The most historically accurate version of the Gettysburg Address includes the words “under God.” This is known as the “Bliss Copy” and it’s the version most often reproduced and referenced. This copy is displayed on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The relevant passage reads as follows: [Read more...]

The Greater the Darkness, The Brighter Our Lights Must Shine

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The Greater the Darkness, The Brighter Our Lights Must Shine [Read more...]

Twenty-Five Signs That You’re Arguing With Leftists

Signs That You’re Arguing With Leftistsby Chris Banescu -
How do you know when you have successfully argued and defended your position when debating with leftists or progressives on Facebook (or face-to-face)?

Look for these telling signs (not necessarily in this exact order):

1. They call you an “extremist, radical, racist, Teabagger, heartless capitalist, or FoxNews cultist.”

2. They declare that “you’re a ‘hater’ or you’re angry.”

3. They ignore the facts and evidence you present, and challenge your “motivations” instead. (Note, you are not allowed to question their motivations.)

4. They accuse you of “insulting” any liberal, progressive, or leftist that you criticize, and remind you that it’s “rude” to do so.

5. They question your intelligence, experience, education, ethnic background, and/or religious beliefs.

6. They denounce you as “intolerant and judgmental.” [Read more...]

ObamaCare: ‘I was Laughing at Boehner, Until the Mail Came Today’

ObamaCare Socialism Communism Goalby Chris Banescu -
It’s finally dawning on liberals, leftists, and progressives that conservatives were telling the truth when they warned about the fundamental problems and dangers of The ‘Affordable’ Care Act (ObamaCare). As reported in the San Jose Mercury News, reality came knocking for Obama voters and ObamaCare supporters last week. And many of them wish they had not answered the door.

Big believers in ObamaCare are experiencing sticker shock. These folks voted not once, but twice for President Obama. They believed the propaganda that ObamaCare will lower prices and the people will keep their existing plans. They’re now seeing that Obama lied.

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

[Read more...]