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{Cross-posted from the Southern Command HQ notification system}

Okay all you Southern Command constituents, it’s that time of year to make preparations for the annual New Year’s Day tradition of black-eyed peas.

Here’s a good recipe for the peas.

Now remember, the tradition is

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:

•Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.

•Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

And finally, some things to remember whilst you go about your celebrating:

•For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.

•Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.

•In some areas, actual values are assigned with the black-eyed peas representing pennies or up to a dollar each and the greens representing anywhere from one to a thousand dollars.

•Adding a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny or dime receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin, which would be a rather unlucky way to start off the year.

The catch to all of these superstitious traditions is that the black-eyed peas are the essential element and eating only the greens without the peas, for example, will not do the trick.


And enjoy your celebration responsibly. You are hereby ordered to return to duty promptly on January 2nd. Do I make myself clear, soldier?

Yes? Then DISMISSED!&#153


…and, bah Gawd (a little Jim Ross lingo, there), don’tcha think it oughta be…?

To top off what has probably been the shittiest year in world history…now comes the worst news yet.

The Skank & the Pussy* are gonna have a bastard.

Get ready for yet another Kardashian to keep up with! On Sunday night, Kanye West “announced” that he and Kim Kardashian are expecting a child together when he told the crowd at his Atlantic City concert to “Stop the music and make some noise for my baby mama,” according to a fan on Twitter who was at the show, and then reportedly pointed to his girlfriend in the audience.

Although Kim – who is still married to her husband of 72 days, Kris Humphries – has yet to say anything to her nearly 17 million fans on Twitter, her rep did confirm that the reality star is pregnant. This will be the first child for both Kim, 32, and West, 35, who began dating in the spring of 2012.

Oh, how abso-fucking-lutely lovely.

One thing’s for damned sure:&#160 If Antichrist wasn’t already here…he is now.&#160

*I’ll let you figure out which is which.&#160 They’re fairly interchangeable, y’know.


So now you’ve got a bunch of celebrities – and, well, okay, Widdle Bitchie Eisen too – sniveling about Newtown, and about how enough is enough.

So why is what they’re doing here okay…?

I mean, if they’re such terrified-by-guns dickweeds, should they really be enjoying all the bangie thingies they’re…um…utilizing…as they ply their craft?

Anyone?&#160 Anyone?&#160 Bueller?

Hm.&#160 Maybe these celebretards should&#160 go fuck themselves, y’know?


Here’s the proof we needed to link Al-Obambi with the godfather of the socialist-marxist utopia that the progressives are salivating for:

{spew alert engaged}

{spew alert disengaged}



‘Will there be resistance? Absolutely there will be resistance,’ he [Bambi] said.

You have no idea, you syphilitic son-of-a-Kenyan-crack-whore-bitch.

You.&#160 Have.&#160 No.&#160 Fucking.&#160 Idea.


In a government. Surprise, surprise.

But not in America. {No surprise there}

It’s in France no less.

Embattled French President Francois Hollande suffered a fresh setback Saturday when France’s highest court threw out a plan to tax the ultrawealthy at a 75 percent rate, saying it was unfair.

In a stinging rebuke to one of Socialist Hollande’s flagship campaign promises, the constitutional council ruled Saturday that the way the highly contentious tax was designed was unconstitutional. It was intended to hit incomes over €1 million ($1.32 million).

The largely symbolic measure would have only hit a small number of taxpayers and brought in an estimated €100 million to €300 million — an insignificant amount in the context of France’s roughly €85 billion deficit.

Who’d a thunk it? The French, with a far-left SOCIALIST president (further left than Al-Obambi mind you), have the smarts to realize taxing the wealth ain’t gonna fix the problem.

Bravo French courts, bravo.


This should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone here at the Southern Command. And given Al-Obambi’s penchant for “fundamental transformation” it’s no surprise that the carpet baggers (aka Sen. Chuck Schumer) from New Yawrk are willingly following suit. Follow along here if you will…..

The Senate approved a $60.4 billion recovery package on Friday intended to help the states affected by Hurricane Sandy in November. Appearing on “Cavuto” on Friday night, American Majority Action spokesman Ron Meyer said the bill was also packed with tons of “pork” spending, some of which won’t even occur until after 2013.

Some of the pork spending reportedly goes towards projects that have nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy or the victims, including millions of dollars for tree planting in areas untouched by Sandy and a new roof for the Smithsonian Museum. When an elected representative appropriates government spending for local projects to help his or her district, it is know as “pork barrel” spending.

Wait…the hypocrisy of Schumer continues!

…$1 out of every $20 spent in the Sandy bill will go to “non-relief-related pork.”

Yes folks, THAT’S our CON-gress in action.

Excuse me, I’m going to get sick. AGAIN!


Denizens, we start off what’s probably the last Perfect Football Weekend&#153 episode of what was a very disappointing season (made so because of my inability to provide weekly updates) with an “Awwww” moment.

We don’t have too much to add to this perfect Christmas video. A son gives his Alabama fan father a hat for a gift, but the real surprise comes when he asks him to look inside the hat at what size it is.

That’s when he finds a pair of tickets to the BCS Championship Game. The father is Don Buckhannan, and his son is Daniel. They are from Oxford, Ala., ESPN.com said. Tickets to the title game between Alabama and Notre Dame on Jan. 7 in Miami are extremely hard to come by – the cheapest ticket on StubHub.com as of mid-afternoon on Christmas was $979.

Don Buckhannan’s reaction to getting the tickets from his son sums up the joyous spirit of the holidays.

Indeed it does. Merry Christmas (if belated) to Mr. Buckhannon.&#160 Roll Tide.

Let’s get to the football.&#160 It’s Bowl Season&#153 – which means, of course that all my teams are in.&#160 &#160 Tomorrow night, it’s Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs taking aim at the Michigan State Spartans of the Big Ten – the first such opponent since Bucky in the Rose Bowl back in 2011.

It’ll be a close game – Vegas has the Froggies as a slight (2&#189-point) favorite, so I’m pleased it’s Jaden Overkrom kicking instead of Ross Evans this year.

Sunday, it’s for all the NFC East marbles as the Dallas Cowgirlz up in Warshington to take on the Foreskins and The Second Coming Of The World’s Greatest Ever Quarterback Ever In The History Of Ever, Ever, Ever!!!&#153, ARRRRRR GEEEEEEEE THREEEEEEE!!!!!&#160 (And I will continue to call them the Cowgirlz until they put a major hurt on that bastard, too.&#160 Someone needs to make the asshole eat a piece of humble pie – may as well be Dallas.)

All this means that, come Monday, I’ll be drinking to celebrate, or because I’m pissed off, one or the other.

KORRIOTH:&#160 Yeah, we saw the champagne in the cooler.&#160 Why not take some Romulan ale with us?

VENOMOUS:&#160 Because I wanna have taste buds on Wednesday.

MERLIN:&#160 He’s got a point, General.

KORRIOTH:&#160 (grunt)

New Year’s Day, I’ll be nursing a hangover, first with 16th-ranked Nebraska (would someone please&#160 tell me how it is that these choke artists are ranked after that shit they pulled in Indianapolis?) going up against seventh-ranked Georgia in the Capital One (“What’s in your&#160 wallet?”) Bowl.&#160 And I’ve half a mind to yank Bo’s Bunglers out of the PFW and pull for Georgia instead.

As it is, the Dawgs are a solid 9&#189-point favorite – and I think that’s being kind to the Huskers, given what Steve Spurrier did to them last year.

Later on that day, it’ll be Bucky going for the Mexican Hat-Trick&#153 (three losses in a row) in the Rose Bowl vs. the Stanford Cardinal.&#160 Even without Andrew Luck, the Cardinal are a good 6&#189-point favorite over Bucky.

Oh – and did I mention that the Badgers are gonna be minus another coach in this matchup?

In its second stunning hiring this year, Arkansas tabbed Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema to take over a program that went into a tailspin after former coach Bobby Petrino was fired for hiring his mistress to work in the athletic department.

Does anyone really&#160 think Bucky has a chance?

One week from tonight, it’s the Cotton Bowl, where Bob Stoops’ 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners will take on Heisman Trophy winner (the first worthy one in two years, I might add) Johnny Manziel and the ninth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies.

Hope Bob brought his zebras with him from the TCU game.&#160 He’s gonna need ’em.

We’ll be back Monday, January 7th, with the recap and benediction.&#160 We also may have our take on Bama-Irish for the national championship, so keep your eyes peeled.

In the meantime, my last question for HDD this year is…so does Barry Alvarez come back a third time?


Memo to Lie-anne Fein-swine:

You are not&#160 getting my guns.

None&#160 of them.



Don’t even think&#160 about it.


Once again, it’s the old saw about eleven-on-eighteen.

Wylie East 49, Mesquite Poteet 52

at TCU 24, #11 Oklahoma 10, Blind-Assed OU-Homer Zebra Bastards +7 (-7)

Wisconsin 70, #12 Nebraska 31 (at Indianapolis – B1Q Championship)

at Dallas 38, Philthydelphia 33

Dallas 20, at Cincinnati 19

at Dallas 27, Pittsburgh 24 (OT)

at Dallas 31, New Orleans 34 (OT)

Well, so much for Wylie East.&#160 Kinda hard to win when you can’t stop anyone.&#160 But don’t take my word for it – ask Rob Ryan.

Prior to last Sunday’s debacle against the Saints – another eleven-on-eighteen travesty on which I don’t really have time to expound – Dallas had won five of six, and (even in the loss) has actually been playing pretty well.&#160 The light seems to have gone on in Dez Bryant’s head, and Tony Romo has been the beneficiary.

The line still sucks, but Jeremy Parnell has been getting extra playing time, and the light may have gone on in his head, too.&#160 In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me next year if Dougie “Hah! Toro!!!” Free were to be shifted inside to guard, and Parnell installed as the permanent right tackle.

Brandon Carr is finally earning some of that $50 extra-extra-large (that’s million&#160 to you folks in the Church of the SubTarded&#153) – he’s had a couple of picks the last few games, one coming against Pittsburgh that all but gave Dallas the win.

Carry this over into next year, have a decent draft with another corner/safety and maybe a lineman or two, and this becomes a very&#160 dangerous team.

That does it.&#160 I’ve seen enough of Bo Pelini.

The man goes into the Great-Coordinator-Shitty-Head-Coach Club&#153.&#160 Right there along with Dave Campo, Norv Turner and Dave Wannstedt, among others.&#160 Put the man in a big game – a bowl, or a championship game – and his team pulls the big El Choko act.

Bucky turned on the jets from the opening kickoff, and didn’t let up until it was already 63-17 after three.&#160 The Blackshirts (really oughta be called the Whiteshirts, ’cause at least then they could wave ’em as white flags) gave up 640 yards of total offense – 539 of that on the ground.

Lemme say that again.&#160 A team that fired its O-line coach in September, pushed the Husker E-fense (once again, no D) around for 539 yards.

What an effing embarrassment.

This team has gone as far as it can under Bo Pelini.&#160 If it wants to go to the next level, Bo should have been gone the next day.&#160 (As it is, he’ll coach the Capital One Bowl game against Georgia.&#160 And if the team that gave ‘Bama all it could handle in the SEC Championship does to NU what S. Carolina did last year, Bo won’t be there long after that.)

TCU was called for a phantom holding penalty on a Trevone Boykin touchdown pass that would’ve tied the score.

On a 66-yard scoring run, OU was not&#160 called for a hold so obvious, even their own radio announcers couldn’t help but notice it.

Let’s get one thing straight, Sooners:&#160 We kicked your ass.&#160 Absolutely knocked the shit out of you.&#160 You got given&#160 that game, because the Big XII higher-ups decided you were going to win it so that you could have a chance to go to a BCS bowl.&#160 (Of course, TU would’ve had to beat K-State for you to accomplish that – yeah, like that was gonna happen.)

Enjoy it now. boys.&#160 The day’s coming when not even the zebras will be able to save your sorry asses.

This week (cough):&#160 5-4.&#160 Three PFWs achieved (one each for Dallas beating Cincy, Philthy & Pittsburgh, which were the only games on those respective weekend dockets (8)).&#160 Overall:&#160 58-32.

The PFW will return Friday for the Bowl Edition.&#160 Assuming, of course, that:&#160 (1) I have time to crank ’em out, and (2) these machines don’t go belly-up again (keep your fingers crossed).


Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

—Luke 2:1-20 (NASB)

And may God add His blessings to the reading of His holy Word.

Merry Christmas, Denizens.&#160 This season, more than any other – remember why.


Yet another holiday tradition hits us here at the Realm&#153, Denizens – the annual visit by everyone’s favorite General, the fat guy who wears all the red.&#160

Usually it’s a round-robin between Supreme General Rayegun, David Hartung and myself, each of us taking turns posting it, and the other two linking thereto.&#160 However, given that (even though each of them still have their own little corner of cyberspace Rayegun’s place is still intact) we’re all in one place now, it seems fitting that I tack the bulletin to the board.&#160 Raise the flag and see who salutes, as it were.

Besides – it’s my turn, anyway.&#160 &#160 (Well, it’s actually the General’s turn, but I’ve not heard from him for a few days.&#160 Possibly he & the Generalette are hitting the Romulan Ale a bit in celebration of Texas Tech finally ridding themselves of Tommy-boy Tuberville.&#160 Who knows?&#160 &#160 )

(More to the point, neither the General nor the Vicar have volunteered to do the honors, so…)

And, wonder of wonders – this year, it’ll even be formatted properly.&#160 (Well – mostly, anyway.&#160 &#160 )

General Claus’ Visit

To: All Personnel

_1._ An official visit by MG Santa (NMI) Claus is expected at this headquarters 25 December 1998. The following instructions will be in effect and govern the activities of all personnel during the visit:

_a._ Not a creature will stir without official permission. This will include indigenous mice. Special stirring permits for necessary administrative actions will be obtained through normal command channels. Mice stirring permits will be obtained through the office of OSURG, Veterinary Services.

_b._ Personnel will settle their brains for a long winter nap prior to 2200 hours, 24 December 2009. Uniform for the nap will be: Pajamas, cotton, light, drowsing, with kerchief, general purpose, camouflage; and Cap, camouflage w/ear flaps. Equipment will be drawn from CIF prior to 1900 hours, 24 December 2009.

_c._ Personnel will utilize standard ration sugar plums for visions to dance through their heads. This item will be drawn from the servicing dining facility.

_d._ Stockings, wool, cushion sole, will be hung by the chimney with care. Necessary safety precautions will be taken to avoid fire hazards caused by carelessly hung stockings. Unit Safety Officers will submit stocking hanging plans to this headquarters prior to 0800 hours, 24 December 1996, ATTN: AEAGA-S, for approval.

_e._ At the first sign of clatter from the lawn, all troops will spring from their beds to evaluate noise and cause. Immediate action will be taken to tear open the shutters and throw open the window sashes. ODCSOPS Plan (Saint Nick), Reference LO No. 3, paragraph 6c, this headquarters, 2 February 1995, will be in effect to facilitate shutter tearing and sash throwing. Division chiefs will familiarize all personnel with procedures and are responsible for ensuring that no shutters are torn open nor window sashes thrown prior to start of official clatter.

_f._ Prior to 2400, 24 December 2009, all personnel will be assigned “Wondering Eye” stations. After shutters are thrown and sashes are torn, these stations will be manned.

_g. _ODCSLOG will assign one each Sleigh, miniature, M-66, and eight (8) deer, rein, tiny, for use of MG Claus’ driver who, in accordance with current directives and other applicable regulations, must have a valid SF 56 properly annotated by Driver Testing; be authorized rooftop parking and be able to shout “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen, up Comet, up Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen.”

_2._ MG Claus will enter quarters through standard chimneys. All units without chimneys will draw Chimney Simulator, M-6, for use during ceremonies. Chimney simulator units will be requested on Engineer Job Order Request Form submitted to the Furniture Warehouse prior to 19 December 2009, and issued on DA Form 3161, Request for Issue or Turn-In.

_3._ Personnel will be rehearsed on shouting “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.” This shout will be given on termination of General Claus’ visit. Uniformity of shouting is the responsibility of division chiefs.

Colonel, US
OIC, Special Services

At ease, troops.&#160


Denizens, you heard it here first.&#160 (Or “foist”, to use a bit of Rott terminology.)

Barring a completely unexpected turn of events – the bastard stealing the election in about three weeks? – you have just seen the death knell of the Weepy Boner speakership.

Speaker John A. Boehner’s effort to pass fallback legislation to avert a fiscal crisis in less than two weeks collapsed Thursday night in an embarrassing defeat after conservative Republicans refused to support legislation that would allow taxes to rise on the most affluent households in the country.

House Republican leaders abruptly canceled a vote on the bill after they failed to rally enough votes for passage in an emergency meeting about 8 p.m.

Within minutes, dejected Republicans filed out of the basement meeting room and declared there would be no votes to avert the “fiscal cliff” until after Christmas. With his “Plan B” all but dead, the speaker was left with the choice to find a new Republican way forward or to try to get a broad deficit reduction deal with President Obama that could win passage with Republican and Democratic votes.

Gee, seems that can they’ve been kicking down the road has suddenly developed a solid iron core.&#160 Sufficient to make the Sniveler of the House stub his toe a bit, eh what?



Denizens, the good news is that both the machines are now back up & stable.

KORRIOTH:&#160 For now.

VENOMOUS:&#160 Oh, thanks, Django Downer.

MERLIN:&#160 Well, y’know, it’s been, what, about three-plus years since the Great Hard Drive Upgrade Extravaganza&#153?&#160 Remember what you’re always saying about electronic components?

VENOMOUS:&#160 Yeah, yeah, yeah – they can fail at any time, for any reason…

ALL (in unison):&#160 …or for no reason.

And even as I type this, the fan on the work box is very audibly reminding me that it’s in desperate need of replacement.

May be a bit before I get caught up (read:&#160 finally post the long-over PFW recap(s)) – but I found a blurb from this column (dealing with pet peeves) this morning and had to repost.

Below the fold.&#160 Go click it – it’s that damn good.

1. The Over-Sensitivity of Everyone

Allow me to explain. This year was filled with celebrities making comments and then apologizing for them when someone was offended. Not a week goes by now where a mainstream or even pseudo celeb doesn’t make controversial comments. Inevitably there will be someone who didn’t like it and when that happens, the public bands together like never before and demands that the person issue a formal apology.

When did our society become so thin-skinned? Can nobody say anything anymore without us reacting like petulant, whiny children? We have become so over-sensitive that we demand apologies at a moment’s notice and then accept them at face value.

Most of the celebs who apologize are merely doing so to avoid damaging their reputation. But we believe them regardless even though the apologize aren’t genuine in the least. I’m not saying that we should dismiss every controversial comment and I’m not saying that celebs should never apologize, but I do think this pattern happens at an alarming rate these days and it’s more than a little ridiculous.

Every misunderstood exchange now makes headlines. Take…mmm everything Nicki Minaj says for example. Recently Steven Tyler made some comments about the quality of her judging on American Idol and it was actually misconstrued as racist. Tyler of course said he was sorry even though he didn’t do anything wrong.

James Gunn, who is directing Guardians of the Galaxy, made some controversial blog posts in 2011. It offended women and gays, among others. He of course spoke out and apologized for his comments. Here’s the thing, they were about fictional superhero characters. He said himself it was meant to be satirical and funny, but that didn’t stop every organization under the sun from coming forward and yelling about how offensive his BLOG POSTS were. Should he have written what he did? No, it was in bad taste. But did stupid comments about fictional people really warrant such anger and hatred in the media? Certain groups were even calling for him to be removed as director of the aforementioned film.

News stories like this go down all the time now. Where did this trend start? Who knows? It could have been any number of situations in the past. Can we not take a joke anymore? Can we not brush a comment off our shoulder? Apparently not. We need to piss and moan about everything.

The fact is people sometimes say dumb things and make mistakes. That is the way life works. But we also take things to heart too often now. We have become so thin-skinned and delicate that it’s perplexing why we don’t just burst apart at the slightest touch.

Damn straight.&#160 Amen & amen.

Props to Chad Webb.&#160 This needed to be said.

And said again, as oft as it takes to drive it through the fecal matter passing for grey matter in some folks’ putrified noggins.


[ED. NOTE:&#160 Changed the date on this – well, for purely selfish reasons (the calendar there to the right is looking a little bare). Done, because I’m Venomous and I can. (grin)]

The following is the sermon preached this morning at St Luke Lutheran Church. Before posting the actual sermon, a comment is in order. Do not, in any way assume that I am calling for there to be no punishment for these mass murderers. Breaking the law brings with it consequences. The guilty individual in Newtown escaped temporal legal consequences by killing himself.

Here is this morning’s sermon:

Sermon 16 December 2012

David Hartung

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Advent 3c


Grace, mercy and Peace be unto you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

After getting caught up on the news the past several days, and seeing the comments by some of the parents and loved ones from the school shooting Friday in Connecticut, I felt a need to address the situation, and hopefully, by the time this is done, I will have tied it to the Sermon text for today, and to our advent preparation.

What happened Friday is beyond any doubt, a tragedy. There are twenty children who will not grow up to live full and fruitful lives. There are twenty eight families who will never again spend time with their loved ones.

Yes, there is no doubt that this was a tragedy. When this sort of tragedy happens, we go all out trying to figure out why it happened, and what we can to to prevent it from happening again. The pundits look around for someone, or something to blame, and the politicians look for someway to reap a political benefit. In the end, we all get past it, move on with our lives, but those who lost their loved ones still have to pick up the pieces and try to put their lives back together.

The rest of the world does not believe us but we, you and I know the cause of the shooting. It is the same cause for every evil that has happened since Adam and Eve disobeyed God. The cause is sin. The cause is our inborn hatred for God and his will. Yes, it is a simplistic answer, but one which would explain why this sort of thing has been going on throughout recorded history. The questions for us today are simple.

Since this has been going on for all these years, why should we concern ourselves with yet another killing. After all, this was only twenty eight people. Just in Chicago this year there has been over four hundred murders, what is one ore?

As naive as it sounds, as God’s children we should always be concerned with the taking of innocent lives. This comes back to the fifth Commandment to not murder. God never intended us to run around killing one another. As God’s children, we should keep the families of the victims always before us in prayer. Of course Pastor, most people would say. We absolutely pray for the families of the victims.

At this point, I would like to suggest something a little bit more radical. In an murder, there is often another murder victim whom we often do not think about.

What about the killer? Might he not be a victim?

While we do not know what is in these people’s hearts, it is very likely that many killers were at one time a part of God’s kingdom, until something happened to murder their faith. Believe me, the murder of the faith of another is a crime even more heinous than just killing the body of another human being. To kill faith, has eternal consequences.

This is exactly why we should pray for those who do the killing, and for those who may have destroyed their faith. But, is this the end? And this is what brings us to our lesson for today.

You see, just as today the murder of faith was going on in Zephaniah’s day. The people had turned away from God, and were worshipping false gods. The words of the prophet do not tell us this directly, but it is entirely reasonable to conclude that parents were teaching their children the ways of the false gods, thus making them guilty of murder. Zephaniah prophesied during the rein of King Josiah, the same as Jeremiah, and God was also using him to proclaim to the people their sin.

I have another question for you.

Consider who you have known, and what you have said and done in your life. Have you been guilty of murdering the faith of another? Has the example you set, or the things you have said had the effect of killing faith in a fellow Child of God?

I can’t answer that question. Only you, with God’s help can give that answer.

That is the bad news, now comes the good news.

Zephaniah did not satisfy himself with just telling the people how bad they were, and that God was going to allow them to be defeated and carried off. God also used Zephaniah to remind the people that through them would come one who would bring them salvation. This salvation was not just for the good little Jews, but for all, including the victims of the Newtown shootings, but also for those who have committed crime which in our human lives are unforgivable.

The salvation pointed to by Zephaniah in today’s lesson was won for everyone, for you and me, for the children who died this week, who even though they were very young, were still sinners; for their parents and teachers, and also for the young man who killed them.

As we move forward, we as God’s children remember and pray for the families of those who suffer from violence in our imperfect world, and we look forward to the coming time when such horrific acts do not happen. However, we also give thanks that such acts are not common in our communities. We have been so successful in making our communities free from murder and other violence that when our children see it, they often do not know how to work through the experience. There are places in the world today where sch violence is so common that people become accustomed to it.

We are truly a blessed people. We are blessed because we do live where we live. We are blessed because God has given us skilled doctors, nurses and mental health professionals to help us get past this horrific event. Most of all, we are blessed to have one who has taken on himself the punishment for sin so that we might enjoy eternity with our Lord.

One last thing. The local LCMS pastor, who has members involved in this shooting, is a young man and was ordained just three months ago. Please include him in your prayers.

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.



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Mozilla Firefox doesn't do too badly, either; in fact, it's His Rudeness' browser of choice.
You can  use Nutscrape,  if you so desire - but why in blazes would you want to use a browser from a company that had to hide behind Janet El Reño's skirt to be successful?

And don't even  get me started on Opera or Chrome.  I'm not about  to trust any browser that won't let me change its color scheme.
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