Thursday, May 29, 2008

Here's an article that makes a great point; we thought you might find it interesting as well. Enjoy!

You Must Remember This
Constantinople fell just 555 years ago.

By Clifford D. May

There’s an anniversary this week we might do well to recall. On May 29, 1453 — just 555 short years ago — troops led by Mehmed II broke through the walls of the ancient Christian capital of Constantinople.

Mehmed the Conqueror — as he would be known from that day forward — rode triumphantly into the city on a white horse. Soon, churches would be converted into mosques. Constantinople would become Istanbul.

“For the West this was a dark moment,” writes historian Efraim Karsh in his masterful book, 
Islamic Imperialism. “For Islam it was a cause for celebration. For nearly a millennium Constantinople had been the foremost barrier — physically and ideologically — to Islam’s sustained drive for world conquest and the object of desire of numerous Muslim rulers.”

Mehmed cast himself as not just as a master builder of the Ottoman Empire, but also as the caliph — the supreme spiritual and temporal ruler of all the world’s Muslims, chosen to “act as Allah’s Sword ‘blazing forth the way of Islam from the East to West.’ ” He would go on to conquer Greece, Serbia, the Balkans south of the Danube and the Crimean peninsula. His grandson and great grandson would extend the caliphate to include the Levant, Egypt, the Arabian Hijaz including the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, Iraq, North Africa, and most of Hungary.

The desire to conquer the world — or even just one’s neighbors — is hardly an Islamic invention. Genghis Khan is not a name: It’s a title. It means “universal ruler.” The man history knows as Genghis Khan believed it was his divinely ordained mission to lead the Mongols to global domination.

And he loved his work. “Man’s highest joy is victory: to conquer his enemies,” he said, “to pursue them; to deprive them of their possessions; to make their beloved weep; to ride on their horses; and to embrace their wives and daughters.”

Upon entering the city of Bukhara in 1220 he proclaimed: “If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”

Genghis Khan was a pagan, a shamanist, as was his descendant, Hulagu, who in 1258 conquered Baghdad — among the world’s most sophisticated cities at the time — and executed the reigning caliph.

A few years ago, Osama bin Laden, on one of his audio tapes, compared Colin Powell and Dick Cheney to Hulagu, saying they had inflicted more damage upon Baghdad in the 1991 Gulf War than had the Mongol king. Bin Laden may take some consolation in the fact that Hulagu’s son, and many other members of the ruling Mongol elite, eventually embraced Islam. (Whether the same will be true of the heirs of Powell and Cheney only time will tell.)

For centuries, the world was spun by what Nietzsche called the “will to power.” Africa and the Americas were conquered by European Christians. Napoleon was crowned emperor by the Pope. Tojo fought to expand Japan’s empire. Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin conquered in the name of totalitarian ideologies.

In recent years, however, the West has rejected not just Genghis Khan’s perspective on the joys of conquering, but the very idea of empire building, at least through martial means. Indeed, so thorough has this rejection been that many Americans and Europeans can no longer imagine anyone continuing to harbor such ambitions.

On that basis, they further assume that violence and terrorism — from the attacks of 9/11 to the missiles raining on Israel to the suicide-bombings in the marketplaces of Iraq — must be a response to oppression or occupation or some other “legitimate grievance.” History suggests otherwise. So, too, do the leaders of the various modern militant Islamist movements.

“We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance and the Islamic world,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared, “and this war has been going on for hundreds of years.”

“We are not fighting so that you will offer us something,” said Hussein Massawi, a former leader of Hezbollah. “We are fighting to eliminate you.”

“Rome will become an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread though Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, even Eastern Europe,” Yunis al-Astal, a Muslim cleric and Hamas parliamentarian has pledged. “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our prophet Muhammad.”

Mehmed the Conqueror would understand, though his defenders would say he was never quite as radical as are the Islamic warriors of the contemporary era.

 Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democraciesa policy institute focusing on terrorism.

© 2008 Scripps Howard News Service

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beginning to practice her heat vision.

Tummy time

Held by auntie Elva at a visit.

Mommy and Julia moving to the music.

Checking out Mommy & Daddy's breakfast.

Mommy and Julia talking with Grandma, Grandpa, and the Aunts & Uncles over Skype.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Bit of Our Tuesday

The Washing Machines

This is our old washing machine. It has been on the way out for a while. It flooded. We had it fixed. The spin cycle quit working. The barrings began to go. We decided to put it out of its misery.
This is our new washing machine. It has a Turbo Drum that is actually joined to the motor! It is silent. It spins amazingly fast. It is impossible for the load to unbalance. We love our new machine.

Drying Laundry in Tasmania

The clothes horse is another new addition of our laundry arsenal and part of many a Tasmanian household.

Going for a Walk

Daddy and Julia ready to go.

View from our driveway

Part of our front yard and mail box. Yes it is Autumn here. I still occasionally call it Fall despite mild protest from the locals.

Daddy and Julia reading the mail while on the walk.
A view during our walk with Mt. Arthur in the distance.

Full Moon rise over Mt. Barrow as seen from a little park near our home.

Closer look at the moon rise.

Another shot from the walk.

Shot of the back yard.

Few More Pics of Julia

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Pics

In the study

On Mom's lap

Bath time with Daddy

"Good night little one"

Monday, May 12, 2008


Dear friends & family,

Sorry we have not taken any new pics yet.

Just dropping a quick note to say we are keeping well. The Lord upheld in preaching on the Sabbath and Martha and baby Julia were able to make it to the morning service. They took a needed rest in the afternoon. We are also thankful that Martha was able to get a little more sleep Saturday night, 5 hours, and a little bit Sabbath night as well. Monday has gone well too by the grace of the Lord, however both Martha and I should get to bed early if we can.

Please remember Martha's sleep in your prayers and that the Lord would continue to strengthen her, and Julia, as they continue to recover from the birth.

The Lord's blessing on you all.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

First Bath

Relaxing in the tub

Getting all clean

Enjoying the heat lamp in the bathroom

All dry

All dressed

All ready for bed

Mission accomplished!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More PICS!!!!!

Here are some pictures. Some were taken about half an hour after Julia was born and up to five horus or so later. The pics were taken by our good friend Ava who was there to help with the birth. She was a great support and was kind enough to bring her camera along as well; I forgot mine. If Martha seems to have bluish colored teeth it is because blue Gatarode (which Ava also kindly brought along) was Martha's beverage of choice during and after the birth.

Hope you enjoy the pics!!! We do!!

Daddy getting around to making the first round of local and international phone calls.

Someone said that Julia has Terry's nose and Martha's lips, ears, and eye brows.

Lord willing, we will be taking a few more pics and putting them up over the coming days. Martha and baby continue to do very well by the grace of the Lord.

Lord's blessing to you all and thank you again for all your continued prayer support.