The History of the Star-Spangled Banner by David Barton

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A Tribute for 9-11-01

Everyone remembers
And has a story to tell
Of where they were and what they did
The day the towers fell

The day was like any other
Tens of thousands went to work
Unafraid and unaware
Of the danger that did lurk

Suddenly in a moments time
The sky of clearest blue
Was filled with fire and billowing smoke
Of the darkest hue

The city known for towers gleaming
Watched in horrid fascination
At thousands, running, screaming
As two planes caused utter devastation

We remember police and firefighters
Running in to help
Not thinking of the danger
Or the preservation of self

They searched for souls to rescue
Not knowing what time had lapsed
Then suddenly without warning
The two buildings then collapse

Husbands lost their wives
Sisters lost their brothers
Children lost their parents
And all were friends of others

New York wasn’t the only place
Where destruction showed its face
Pennsylvania and the Pentagon also on the list
Were targeted as well and saw its ugly fist

Yet through the darkest hour
On that fateful day
There were tales of bravery
Right where ruins lay

Two men helped a woman
Down multiple flights of stairs
A woman in a wheelchair
Just because they cared

A Franciscan fire chaplain
Whose name was Michael Judge
Died while giving last rites
To one of those he loved

A Jewish man refused to leave
His Christian quadriplegic friend
So the two remained together
Until the very end

People at the Pentagon
Formed a human chain
Searching for survivors
Amidst the burning flame

A window washer from Albania
Children who will never be okay
A father dies in Pennsylvania
A husband loses his wife on his birthday

Tender loving messages
Delivered through mobile phones
Sweetheart, Darling, I love you
But I won’t be coming home

A hero named Todd Beamer
Determined to take control
Willing to sacrifice his own life
To prevent a greater toll

Suddenly the nation’s character
Once filled with shallow dross
Through tragedy became refined
In the crucible of loss

Neither Republican nor Democrat
Man nor woman, Black nor White
But all of us Americans
United in freedom’s fight

Through suffering, pain and tears
We all began to see
The bond of which we share
Was made strong through unity

We are numb with this tragedy
And the fierceness with which it was brought
Our hearts are broken still
But our determined wills are not

Prayer vigils and blood drives
All across the land
Neighbor helping neighbor
Resolved, united we stand

Countless, unnamed heroes
Doing what is right
Not shirking from the challenge
Or the fierceness of the fight

People in the shadows
Not seeking wealth or fame
But by their own example
Encourage others in the same

The greatest sort of tribute
That we could ever pay
Is to refuse the fear upon us
But not forget that day

It’s time for this generation
Not knowing what this mission entails
To preserve and protect the world
We will not tire, falter, or fail

May the great cloud of witnesses
Now gathered up above
Be remembered by our courage
Commitment, faith and love

May the heroes still among us
And those gone to eternal rest
Be forever honored
By our tribute and our best

Written 10/24/01

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The King of Love, My Shepherd Is– The Masters Chorale

The king of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine for ever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul he leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me,
And on his shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no I’ll
With thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never:
Good shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house for ever.

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Review of With Every Breath

with every Breath

In Elizabeth Camden’s, With Every Breath, widow Kate Livingston works as a statistician at the Census Bureau for a demanding boss, and her paycheck barely keeps her parents’ boarding house afloat. Looking for a brighter future, Kate answers an ad from a local hospital. Unbeknownst to her, she would be working for her former high school rival, now a doctor, who had out-dueled her for a scholarship—her only chance to go to college.

Dr. Trevor McDonough Kendall, despite a difficult past, is a brilliant physician on a quest to find a cure for tuberculosis, a killer in the cities of late 19th century America. Will the two competitors be able to work together and treat a horrible disease? Or will their differences be too much to overcome?

I was intrigued with With Every Breath because of the medical storyline as I find most Christian Romance tedious and superficial. However, Camden weaves an interesting and unpredictable plotline to the end of the book. The author also has an excellent grasp of the historical context and setting. The characters are likable, realistic, and have depth. The dialogue was varied, full of personality, and entertaining. The novel had an authentic Christian message without being preachy or overdone. With Every Breath is a well-written page turner, and I enjoyed it. I recommend it for any fan of Christian historical romance, and I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Camden.

I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Review of The Quick-Start Guide to the Bible

the quick-start guide to the whole Bible
The Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible: The Big Picture Book-by-Book by Drs. William H. Marty and Boyd Seevers is a brief overview of every book of the Bible. Though not an in-depth study, each chapter is broken into sections: Setting, Summary and Significance. The setting looks briefly at each biblical author and historical context. The summary outlines each chapter in chronological order. The significance section explains each book’s message and what it means to the reader,

This book is a primer for those wanting to understand basic Bible structure, and I found The Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible a helpful aid. It was understandable, succinct, and careful to put every book in its context. The setting and the summary sections of each chapter were informative and easy to grasp without being overly academic. The chapters on the Old Testament prophets were enlightening. I would have liked a little more detail on the historical setting of each book and a little less emphasis on the application. However, apart from a few minor theological interpretations, it is a solid resource for those interested in furthering their basic knowledge of the Bible. I give The Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible four out of five stars.

I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Why did YouTube yank pastor’s ISIS message? by Todd Starnes

UPDATE: YouTube has reversed its ban on Pastor Ausbun’s channel. YouTube sent the pastor a message telling him his account is once again active and operational. “After a review of your account, we have confirmed that your YouTube account is not in violation of our Terms of Service.” Click here to watch the sermon Pastor Ausburn preached on ISIS.

The pastor of a small-town Baptist church in Georgia says he got banned from YouTube after he posted video of a Sunday sermon he gave about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

“Apparently, they didn’t like me preaching on radical Islam, so I got booted and banned,” said Daniel Ausbun, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Moreland, Ga. “This is sermon censorship.”

Ausbun concedes that YouTube can censor whatever videos it wishes. But he does wonder – what else is it banning?

On Aug. 24, Ausbun delivered a sermon about the Islamic State, terrorism, radical Islam and Christian persecution in the Middle East.

“So many people in the church had been asking about it,” the pastor told me. “This was almost more of an educational sermon.”

Based on a copy of his sermon notes, the pastor based his message on several New Testament verses – including Matthew 24:9. That verse reads: “Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

Ausbun told his congregation that Middle Eastern Christians were given a choice to convert to Islam, pay a tax, leave immediately or face death. He also warned that ISIS is recruiting Westerners. He encouraged the church to pray for the Gospel message to advance despite terrorism and war.

About three-and-a-half years ago, Ausbun started a YouTube channel for church members who missed the Sunday service. Over the years, he posted dozens of sermon videos without a single problem – until Aug. 27.

“I received an email from YouTube telling me that my account had been terminated for violation of the terms of service and their community guidelines,” he said. “They actually terminated my entire account.”

Ausbun said he decided to read YouTube’s community guidelines, and that’s when he put two and two together. They thought his sermon amounted to hate speech.

YouTube clearly states that it doesn’t permit “hate speech” – and that includes “speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion” and so on and so forth.

“They didn’t tell me exactly why they terminated my account, but by default there was nothing else wrong,” Ausbun said. “It had to be hate speech.”

I wish I could direct you to a link of the pastor’s message but YouTube deleted it. So, I can’t tell you verbatim what the pastor said. However, according to his sermon notes, there was nothing hateful about what he preached.

Ausbun concedes that YouTube can censor whatever videos it wishes. But he does wonder – what else is it banning?

YouTube came under a firestorm of criticism after ISIS was allowed to post a video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

“What the hell is the matter with YouTube?” Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly said on “America’s Newsroom.” “Posting that. The beheading. What the hell is the matter with YouTube? Nobody should post that.”

YouTube removed the video and explained its policy in a statement to the website Mediaite.

“YouTube has clear policies that prohibit content like gratuitous violence, hate speech and incitement to commit violent acts, and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users,” the statement read. “We also terminate any account registered by a member of a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and used in an official capacity to further its interests.”

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the First Baptist Church in Moreland is not a foreign terrorist organization. The pastor says he simply wanted to inform his church about the threat posed by Islamic terrorists and pray for the victims of their Islamic slaughter. Is that hate speech?

“I’m literally terminated – like I’m the terrorist,” the pastor said.

Ausbun said what happened to him could happen to other American pastors under the guise of banning “hate speech.”

“Anything a pastor preaches on – whether it be radical Islam, homosexuality, the teachings of Jesus – YouTube can label that hate speech and censor their sermons,” he said.

The Georgia preacher said he decided to contact me because people need to be aware of YouTube’s censorship.

“ISIS is recruiting Americans to get trained over there, and we know what they are going to do,” he said. “They are not going to stay in Iraq and Syria. They’re coming back to our country.

Pastors should be speaking out on this. This is a grave concern to our Christian brothers and sisters who are literally dying for their faith, and it could affect our lives here.”

In the meantime, Pastor Ausbun has launched a new video channel – on Vimeo.

Posted on September 2, 2014 on

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The Story of Two AJ’s

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