Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cold War II Watch

Few Reports Of Russian Withdrawal In Georgia
by Renee Montagne and Ivan Watson

August 18, 2008 · Russia said it would start withdrawing its troops from Georgia on Monday. But so far, there are few reports of that happening. Over the weekend, the West warned Russia that it would pay a diplomatic price if it didn't abide by the cease-fire agreement signed by both countries last week.

Defense Official: Russia Has Short Range Missiles in South Ossetia
Monday, August 18, 2008

Russia has placed short range SS-21 missiles in South Ossetia, that could pose a threat to most major Georgian cities," including the capital, Tbilisi, a U.S.Defense official confirmed to FOX News on Monday.

"Anything such as that, or any other military equipment that was moved in would be in violation of this cease-fire and should be removed immediately," Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman said. "The only forces that are permitted to remain under the cease fire agreement are the forces that were in there at the Aug. 6 time frame."

Russia Claims Right to Increase Troop Strength in South Ossetia
By Peter Fedynsky
22 August 2008

Russia is claiming the right to increase the number of troops it has in and around South Ossetia, where it is also establishing additional checkpoints in response to what it says is a "continued Georgian threat." VOA correspondent Peter Fedynsky has this report from Moscow.

Just hours before Russia was scheduled to withdraw its troops to a buffer zone in and around South Ossetia, the deputy head of Russia's General Staff, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, told a Moscow news conference the situation in Georgia can hardly be described as stable. General Nogovitysn accused Georgia of concentrating its forces in preparation for renewed fighting, but based the claim on intelligence he said was four days old. There are no independent reports of Georgian troop concentrations.

Russia recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia to save people’s lives
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

August 26, 2008

“The people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have repeatedly supported their independence. We understand that they have a right to determine their fate themselves after what happened recently,” Medvedev said in a televised address. “They addressed to Russia with a request to recognize their independence. Taking into consideration the free will of the peoples, the UN Charter and OSCE documents, I have signed decrees to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on behalf of the Russian Federation. This is the only way to save people’s lives,” Medvedev said.

You'd better get used to scenes like these again.


A Preview of the Coronation tonight...

In Mile-High Stadium, they are building the "Barackopolis." It is there that, tonight, Lord Messiah Barack Obama will accept the coronation as Democrat nominee in front of 75,000 screaming, applauding, fainting worshippers.

In classic teleprompter style, Barack Hussein Obama will simultaneously channel the spirits of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 45th anniversary of his "I Have a Dream" speech, the "Camelot" portrait of the JFK White House days, and Apollo, the most virile and desired of Greek gods.

Fawning all over him with phrases like "home run," "out of the park," "tingles running down my spine," and "If he wasn't already married..." will be his well-heeled sychophants in the media. I could not bear to watch the likes of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews in the middle of their Obama mindtrip.

If you somehow manage to watch tonight, be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs that Barack Hussein Obama IS a god of Greek proportions.

Look for the overwhelming Hubris, the "overweaning pride" that says, "this belongs to me." That yells "audacity is a virtue." That demands power as an entitlement rather than that achieved through experience or earned through service.

Listen to the cries of the crowds, as they lift up such chants as "Clinton hath slain [or fed] his thousands, but Barack his ten-thousands!" (NOTE: Be sure Bill doesn't have a spear nearby.) Watch the tears of ardent adorers as they weep in joy and rapture.

And remember. Remember that you were there when the new Great Leader was coronated. Bow, genuflect, acquiesce.... All Hail!

(c)2008, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 17, 2008

CWII - The Russia That Never Died

On November 1, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a former Soviet KGB spy, had just become a British citizen and was living in London. He was involved with his sponsor Boris Berezovsky in several business ventures -- some reputable, some perhaps not. He was meeting two former "associates" known as Lugovoi and Kotvun, for lunch at London's Pine Bar in the plush Millennium Hotel. Twenty-two days later, he died.

It isn't startling that he died, even though he was only 43 and until then in good health. It is HOW he died that should give us pause. He died of poisoning. Specifically, he died of NUCLEAR poisoning -- with Polonium 210. British Doctors noted Litvinenko's death as the first in the era of "nuclear terrorism."

To his credit, Litvinenko did not go quietly into that good night. In fact, he clearly and plainly declared from his deathbed on worldwide TV and in print media, that this was the doing of agents of President Vladimir Putin of Russia. In an article attributed to Litvinenko anddated two dated after his death, November 25, 2006, he wrote:

...this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition.

You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilised value. You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women.

You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people.

Perhaps Litvineneko's last words should have been taken more seriously, rather than dismissed by so many in the Western Media as a vindictive paranoid who hated Vladimir Putin. In fact, there have been several signs of the intentions of the Kremlin's intent on the past two or three years. Consider the following events of the last four years:

(1) October 8, 2004: CARACAS - The Venezuelan army plans to acquire 40 Russian helicopters within the next few months in the first step towards a new "strategic alliance" with Moscow promoted by President Hugo Chávez, who is further marking his distance from Washington.
The deal was agreed this week in the Russian capital by Vice President José Vicente Rangel, a veteran politician of the Venezuelan left, and army commander General Raúl Baduel as part of business and bilateral economic and technological cooperation accords worth around $1 billion.

(2) July 27, 2006: The Russian Federation and Venezuela on July 27, 2006 have negotiated and approved the sale of 24 aircraft and 53 helicopters—about a $1 billion (U.S.) deal—to Venezuela, as part of an ongoing landmark event, defying the American threats and demands to halt all weapons transfers and any future deals between Russia and Venezuela. Russia has already supplied and started delivering portions of a 100,000 Kalashnikov automatic rifles ordered by Venezuela and Russian attack helicopters to Venezuela. This deal has further entrenched Russian-Venezuelan cooperation, partnership, and the strategic shift of Russia replacing the United States as the military hardware supplier of Venezuela. The securing of this military hardware agreement between Russia and Venezuela is a sign of the fermenting geo-strategic confrontation or rivalry between the Russia and the United States.
The United States slapped the weapons embargo onto Venezuela referring as justification to the strategic partnerships and alliances of Venezuela with Iran and Cuba. The U.S. weapons embargo on Venezuela started in May, 2006, and has including the U.S. putting pressure on Spain and Brazil to halt their agreements to supply military equipment to Venezuela. Venezuela has responded that the U.S. embargo is illegitimate in violation of previous agreements between Venezuela and the United States, and based on a premise for an American offensive against Venezuela.

(3) January 09, 2007: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso have criticized Russia for shutting down a pipeline pumping oil to Europe. Russia's move has dented its image as a reliable energy supplier, said Merkel. She also hinted that Germany may reconsider its phaseout of nuclear power....
Her remarks came in reaction to Russia's decision to shut off the Druzhba ("Friendship") pipeline running to western Europe on Monday over a dispute with Belarus. Russia has accused Belarus of illegally siphoning off crude oil and the two countries have imposed punitive oil levies on each other.
The pipeline is the source of 20 percent of Germany's oil imports. Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been affected by the shutdown.

(4) February 20, 2007: The Czech Republic and Poland on February 19 voiced willingness to host parts of a U.S. missile-defense system on their territories -- prompting a strong response from Russian officials....
assurances did little to soothe Moscow, which has vehemently objected to having the shield on its doorstep.

(5) August 15, 2007: MOSCOW: A proposed contract between Russia and Venezuela that could transfer thousands of sniper rifles to Venezuela has raised concern in the United States about the potential use or regional distribution of the weapons by the socialist-inspired government of President Hugo Chávez.
The rifle in question is the latest variant of the Dragunov, a long-barreled, semi-automatic design with an optical sight. It is derived in part from the much more widely circulated Kalashnikov assault rifle...Because sniper rifles are specialized infantry weapons and not typically issued to large numbers of soldiers, diplomats and military officers and analysts said, a purchase of several thousand Dragunovs would not seem to have a conventional military use for Venezuela's armed forces.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today reiterated Moscow's concerns. "We are seriously concerned about plans to deploy elements of a U.S. missile-defense system in Europe and the critical situation that threatens the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty," Lavrov said.
Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, said on February 19 that Russia may withdraw from a 1987 treaty with the United States limiting short- and medium-range missiles in Europe if the U.S. plan goes ahead.
Solovtsov also warned that hosting the U.S. shield could make the Czech Republic and Poland targets of a Russian missile strike.
"If there is a political decision [made by Russia] to withdraw from [the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty] that was signed between the United States and Russia, the Strategic Missile Forces will be capable of carrying out this task [targeting sites in the Czech Republic and Poland]," Solovtsov said.
This was one of the toughest comments yet by Russian officials on the issue since President Vladimir Putin warned of a "new Cold War" in a speech in Munich on February 10.

(6) August 17, 2007: President Vladimir Putin said Friday he had ordered strategic bombers to resume regular long-range patrols as Russian and Chinese forces held their first joint military exercise on Russian soil — a show of armed muscle aimed at sending a pointed message to the United States.
The resumption of bombing patrols, which analysts say signaled a significant change for Russian military policy, comes amid a growing chill in U.S.-Russian relations, strained over Washington's criticism of Russia's democracy record, Moscow's objections to U.S. missile defense plans and differences over global crises.

(7) July 23, 2008: The media has been abuzz today at the prospect of Russian nuclear bombers being stationed in Cuba if the US goes ahead with plans for missile defence bases in Eastern Europe.
The story has riled the US enough that a US general has been wheeled out to tell the world’s press that any Russian attempt to build another nuclear base in Cuba would cross US “red line”.
The story broke earlier this week, when Russian newspaper Izvestia quoted an un-named source from within the Russian military. He told the Russian daily: “While they are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba.” The Russian Defence Ministry added fuel to the fire when they refused to comment on the story.
The prospect of Russian nuclear forces being stationed in Cuba - which is, after all, only 90 miles from the US coast - would bring back some rather unpleasant memories for the US of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, where the Soviet Union under Nikita Kruschev launched an audacious and foolhardy bid to station nuclear missiles on the Caribbean island.

(8) July 22, 2008: MOSCOW: President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia said Tuesday that their countries would more closely coordinate their actions on global oil and gas markets and that they would work together on foreign policy, a sphere in which both countries have sought to counter U.S. influence.
Chávez, who is expected to sign contracts to purchase more than $1 billion worth of Russian arms, called for the two nations to become "strategic partners" to defend against what he called a U.S. threat to his country.
"That will guarantee the sovereignty of Venezuela, which the United States is now threatening," Chávez said at the start of two days of planned meetings, according to the official Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

(9) July 08, 2008: MOSCOW — Russia will be forced to make a military response if the U.S.-Czech missile defense agreement is ratified, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
The statement came hours after U.S. and Czech officials reached an initial agreement on deploying elements of a missile defense system in the Eastern European country.
Russia says the system would severely undermine European security balances by weakening Russia's missile capacity.
If the agreement is ratified, "we will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods," the Foreign Ministry statement said. It did not give specifics of what the response would entail.
In February, then-President Vladimir Putin said Russia could aim missiles toward prospective missile defense sites and deploy missiles in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland, if the missile defense plan went forward.
The U.S. has pushed the plan as necessary to prevent missile attacks by rogue nations, pointing to Iran as a particular concern. But Russia dismisses the likelihood of such threats....

(10) July 2, 2008: WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States and Poland have reached a tentative deal to place part of a ballistic missile defense system on its territory, a plan that has drawn sharp objections from Russia, a senior administration official said Wednesday...
The Bush administration has long pushed to base missile interceptors in Poland. The interceptor rockets would be linked to an air-defense radar system in the Czech Republic, where officials agreed in April to take part in the system.
The interceptors in the Czech Republic could identify and shoot down missiles fired by Iran at Europe or the United States. Russia fervently opposes basing the interceptors right across its border and says the system's real target would be Russian missiles, according to Time magazine.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek made the announcement in Warsaw following talks with his Polish counterpart Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

(11) August 4, 2008: MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is calling for Russia to regain its influential position in former Cold War ally Cuba, Russian news reports said Monday.
The statement comes amid persistent speculation about whether Russia is seeking a military presence in a country just 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the United States in response to U.S. plans to place missile-defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.
"We should restore our position in Cuba and other countries," Putin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency....

(12) August 8, 2008: Oil prices held around 120 dollars a barrel in Asian trade Friday on jitters sparked by the disruption of a pipeline carrying crude from Central Asia to the West.... One supply side risk comes from the shutdown of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline due to a blast at a pump in eastern Turkey, Shum said...."The BTC pipeline outage could last up to five weeks. That represents a significant disruption to non-OPEC supply," Shum said...

(13) August 11, 2008: CUBA has backed Russia in its conflict with Georgia, saying Russia's demand for Georgia's full pullout from South Ossetia before agreeing to a ceasefire was "just".
"The demand for prior withdrawal of the invaders is just, and our government supports it,'' Cuban President Raul Castro said in a written statement.
Mr Castro said Russian troops had been deployed in South Ossetia legally as a peacekeeping force.
"Therefore, it is false to assert that Georgia is now defending its national sovereignty,'' he said.
Russia sent its tanks and troops to pro-Moscow South Ossetia on Friday in response to pro-Western Georgia's military offensive to take back the province, which broke away in the early 1990s after a separatist war.

(14) August 12, 2008: Crude-oil futures rose early Tuesday, getting a boost from dollar weakness and news of the temporary shutdown of the South Caucasus Pipeline transporting Azerbaijani natural gas through Georgia. Crude oil for September delivery rose $1.21 to $115.65 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Earlier Tuesday, oil had fallen on news that Russia's president has ordered an end to military operations in Georgia. The South Caucasus Pipeline transporting Azerbaijani natural gas through Georgia has been closed temporarily as a precaution due to recent fighting between Russia and Georgia, a spokesman for its operator BP

(15) August 13, 2008: The world's second largest oil pipeline goes directly through Georgia -- and its construction was pushed through by the US against Russia's will. Reports about attacks on the pipeline have alarmed the West.

(16) August 15, 2008: MOSCOW - A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.
The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn is the strongest threat that Russia has issued against the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.
Poland and the United States on Thursday signed a deal for Poland to accept a missile interceptor base as part of a system the United States says is aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations. Moscow, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force.
"Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent," Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying.
He added, in clear reference to the agreement, that Russia's military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons "against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them." Nogovitsyn that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems, he said, according to Interfax.

(17) August 17, 2008: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pentagon chief Robert Gates dismissed as "empty rhetoric" on Sunday Russian warnings that Moscow would target Poland for a possible military strike because Warsaw agreed to host part of a U.S. missile shield.
"Russia is not going to launch nuclear missiles at anybody," Defense Secretary Gates said on ABC News' "This Week." "The Poles know that. We know it."
Col-General Anatoliy Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian general staff, told Interfax on Friday that Russian military doctrine would allow for a possible nuclear strike, after Warsaw agreed to deploy 10 interceptors at a site in Poland as part of the missile shield.
This was "strident rhetoric and probably fairly empty rhetoric," said Gates, a former CIA director and expert on Russia.
"I'm not quite sure why this deputy chief of staff felt compelled to make those kinds of threats," Gates said, adding that the threat was a throwback to the days of the old Soviet Union, when Moscow was Poland's overlord in the Warsaw Pact…..

The foregoing events and comments are only a representative few of those one might find if looking for them. I’ve left out any mention of Russia’s “alliance” to provide technical support to Iran in its fledgling nuclear “industry,” and their sale of dozens of 2nd generation Soviet Subs to Iran for use in the Persian Gulf. I haven’t gone into depth about the aggression demonstrated in the last 10 days or so against the small neighboring nation of Georgia in a fashion and with similar “justifications” and tactics as those used by Hitler’s Nazi Germany in Austria and the Czech Sudetanland in the days leading up to WWII.

I know that seven years ago, President Bush said he looked into the eyes of Vlad Putin and “saw his soul,” and that he was “a man that could be trusted.” President Bush is from Texas. I’m sure he now recognizes when someone has just peed down his back and told him it’s raining. So, he might want to pin back the ears of his Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. If Gates doesn’t take seriously the threats of the “new oligarchs” of Imperial Russia as the pattern establishes above, he needs to be thoroughly examined in a mental health ward for the next 72 hours, at least.
Russia is reemerging as a world power because: (1) they are flush with oil money.(2) They have built pragmatic alliances with other dictatorial/Socialist inspired governments, such as China, Cuba, Venezuela, Peru and Nicaragua, AND with dictatorial Islamofascist states such as Iran and Syria. (3) These “allies” have a common enemy – The United States -- and they control most of the worlds currently produced oil supply, and nearly a third of the global population. (4) They have “allies” in the United Nations, the World Court, the Western News Media and, yes, the US political and governmental structure who see to it that through “political correctness,” foreign policy defeatism, environmental regulatory policy and the global warming hoax that the ability of Americans to free themselves from dependence on foreign oil and to limit America’s influence and aid to foreign democracies keeps us weak, ripe for being taken advantage of.

This sets up any number of interesting scenario’s by which Russia and her client states could bring the United States to our collective knees, they can do it slowly – as the last year or two has indirectly shown them – or they could do it with a relatively quick, coordinated move orchestrated with their allies. Care to speculate how it might go down? For me, there are simply too many different ways we are at risk to know. But in the next few days I might “war game” this NEW Cold War II that we are in, whether we want to admit it or not.
Sasha Litvinenko tried to warn us….


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Secret Transcript - Saddleback Valley Faith Debate Questions

Welcome to our evening “Faith Debate” with Presidential Candidates Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. Pastor Rick Warren welcomes all guests to our church. And now, without further delay, we get into the questions for our candidates. Gentlemen, the people of Amerika wrote or emailed in the following questions, and we are very interested in hearing your answers. So, let us begin. The first question is for Senator Messiah – oh, er, Barack Obama…

(1) Senator Obama, will John Edwards be your Attorney-General? In what role or position will Reverend Wright serve?

(2) Senator McCain, do you realize how STUPID possibly picking Governor Tom Ridge of PA as your running mate would be for you?

(3) Senator Obama, do you know that if you choose Hillary as your running mate, your life expectancy plummets roughly to that of a point man on a combat team in the Vietnam War?

(4) Senator McCain, do you realize how much MORE STUPID possibly picking Senator Joe Leiberman (DEMOCRAT - CT) as your running mate will be?

(5) Senator Obama, is it ever justified to the people of a nation who disagree with their government to resort to violence to overthrow said government?... Oh, no sir, not in IRAN, here in the US..?!

(6) Senator McCain, are you sleepy sir?

(7) Senator Obama, do you plan to order the treasury to issue new dollar bills with Presidents faces that look "more like yours" once you are in office -- or will the faces of George, Thomas, Ben and Abe suffice?

(8) Senator McCain, si habla espanol?

(9) Senator Obama, if -- or when -- the Iranians nuke us, will you vigilantly pursue vigorous diplomatic remedies for their dastardly deeds. or would you merely apologize to them for what obviously was a provocation on our part, and totally our fault?

(10) Senator McCain, if given the opportunity to "cross the aisle" in cooperation with the rightful rulers of Amerika (aka the Democrats) and have all your judicial nominees -- including those to the SCOTUS -- confirmed, will you promise not to nominate Conservative, originalist, constructionist or [Clinton forbid!] Christians to the bench, so as to ensure the right of women to murder their unborn children with legal impugnity?

(11) Senator Obama, has your wife ever had a "shoutin fit" during one of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's sermons sir? And a follow-up -- has she ever been to a "Black Panther Party?"

(12) Senator McCain, do you think Rick Warren's Hawaiian flowered shirts are important to a "Green" policy meant to stop global warming, and if so, how effective have the shirts been so far?

(13) Senator Obama, does your standing in Rick Warren's church imply in any way that you SUPPORT the wearing of Hawaiian shirts as a means of combatting global warming?

(14) Senator McCain, regarding illegal immigration -- with 20 million illegals in our country, and your support for the Immigration bill in 2007 which would have allowed literally 60 million plus more into the nation without consequence and WITH government approval, do you favor the idea that EVERY American family simply adopt an illegal alien and eliminate the Government as the "middle man," or do you think illegals should belong directly to corporations as the permanent, indentured servant underclass?

(15) Senator Obama, if Israel should act to take out Iran's nuclear capability on your watch, will you seek a declaration of war against Israel, or just authorize a resolution calling for limited strikes against Israel as a nation, and Jews here in Amerika?

(16) Senator McCain, as an old man, can you tell us what Abraham Lincoln was really like, and was it true that he and Ronald Reagan were really friends as kids when they grew up back in Illinois?

Gentlemen, thank you for coming to Saddleback Valley Church tonight and sharing your views on these important issues. I'm sure that regardless of who wins this election, we will have a much more bi-lingual, green, egalitarian and love-centered nation in 4 years.

I would like to remind all who have joined us this evening that, just after our closing praise song -- Kum-by-Yah -- you can purchase the exclusive Rick Warren Hawaiian shirt designs in our campus bookstore and giftshop. Also, be sure to pick up CD's of this exciting "faith debate" for a small price and share it with all your friends -- whether leftist Amerika haters or stodgy white Fundamentalists who dress in boring white button down shirts.

For Rick Warren, have a purposeful, positive, life-affirming evening!



copyright 2008, all rights reserved

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

If The Righteous Scarcely Be Saved...

In the past week, I discovered that two men -- both of whom I've known for 17 years -- have suffered the lost of their marriages since I last talked to them. Now, let me stress that I don't know any of the details, and I am NOT judging either these men or their spouses. That said, I have dwelt upon these two men, their wives, their families, and how these marriages crashed and burned.

One of the gentlemen was an Elder in his church, a father of six, and had been married upwards of 30 years. The other man had been married around 25 years, had four children, and served as a missionary in South American. I knew their wives. I knew some of their children. I RESPECT (present tense!) these men. And that's what prompts me to ask, "How?!"

No, I don't mean all the "ugly" little details that inevitably must emerge when a marriage crumbles. I mean, how do marriages survive today? How can they? How do Christians, married before God and the Church, "put asunder" what God has joined together? Again, no, I'm not looking for a debate of the Biblical grounds of divorce. I'm not looking for someone to wax eloquent on the "sin of divorce."

No one (at least not sincere Christians) would argue that divorce is a good thing. No Biblical Christians would say they entered marriage with the idea that it was a "temporary arrangement." And I also understand that divorce does not carry the social stigma it once did in the world, or even in the Church. In some ways, I think that is a good thing. In other ways, it's very, very bad.

This coming week, my wife and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. Many of the couples we've known in that time -- at least half -- are now divorced. Most of these couples were also Christians. Dedicated Christians. Serving Christians. Godly, joy-filled people. Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Missionaries, laypeople.... Now divorced.

Forgive my exasperation, but, where are all the Godly married couples who've made it, and who've done so joyfully? People who've moved past the faults of their spouse to a place of peace and joy, love and acceptance, commitment and success? There are those like myself that need to find these jewels, so that they can be held up and admired. So that their lives could teach and inspire.

Life is hard. Marriage is harder. When I see so many so much like me who lose that sacred relationship... It reminds me of that scripture from Romans I believe, that goes "If the righteous scarcely saved, what of the sinners?" Or, maybe the old standby proverb, "there but for the grace of God go I..."

It leaves one very discouraged. It forces one to ask, "could I be next?" It makes one consider, "what would I do if this befell me?" Not pleasant things to contemplate. I pray for all these broken families....and I pray God preserves my relationship, and those of my friends.