Compass Point and Daily Links

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Compass Point

I am back after a few days away and a self imposed break from the blog. It is hot and dry where I live and a long hot summer looks to lie ahead.

If I am to have any vegetables from my garden I will have to nurse it along with a watering regimen. Already I see there will b no apples on my trees just as there were no sour cherries. Spring played a wicked trick by starting and pausing to let a very cold snap sweep in and freeze the buds and blossoms just a s they appeared.

Now we have some cherries and applesauce put back from last year's crop. They will last a few more months but not into the fall and winter. When they are gone I can go to the local grocery store ( I have three within a half mile) and buy more. Modern food supply chains keep us all from starving.

But our modern world has severed us from the vagaries and cycles of nature. We are not tuned to what is occuring in reality. We miss the important things, and when we do we can be caught unaware, not understanding what and why things happen.

Christ told his disciples to watch the heavens for clouds and rain and wind (Luke 12:54-56). These weather makers keep us in touch with the reality of our time and place in the world. Watching the signs of nature keep us sharp and alert to the true spiritual principles that govern life.

We have "this time" in which to learn and prepare for an eternity in the kingdom of God. We don't have the luxury of wasting our opportunities and experiences. We have to evaluate everything by the standards and values of that true spiritual reality.

Not having apples and cherries this season may not send me into a cycle of poverty . But it is enough to stop and watch and consider. There is much in our present world to consider.

News that Distracts

News headlines often mean little about  the really important issues facing our world, the ones that could change our world. The news last week in America seemed to be focused on the plight of an LA socialite who was sentenced to spend time in the country jail. Hardly a significant issue. This article by Anne Applebaum highlights the regional nature of news coverage and how the world is not currently focused on the real threat of terrorism. At least not until the next major attack.


A clear thinking article in the Wall Street Journal about the Hamas uprising in Gaza. This crisis threatens to spill over into the Wes Bank and present a real problem for Israel and America.

The article states the dire threat to Israel from radical Islam. Here is a comment:

So let's get this straight: There is no near-term solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. There is no Palestinian side with which a compromise agreement can be negotiated. Many Arab states seek to exploit the conflict. Others would like to make peace but are too scared, and it is to the West's discredit that such states don't believe that it can or will protect them.

And this:

There are several key policy conclusions to be drawn from the Hamas triumph. First, Western and especially U.S. policy must get beyond an obsession with solving this conflict. It is going to go on for decades. Peace plans will go nowhere. Hamas will not be persuaded to moderate -- why should it when it expects victory at home and appeasement from Europe? Hamas is the enemy, just as much as al Qaeda, because it is part of the radical Islamist effort to seize control of the region, overthrow anything even vaguely moderate, and expel any Western influence.

Second, since Palestinian politics have clearly returned to a pre-1993 status, so must Western and U.S. policy. This means no Western aid and no diplomatic support until their leaders change policies. The Palestinian movement can only earn financial help and political backing on the very distant day when it accepts Israel's right to exist, stops endorsing and using terrorism, and is serious about negotiating a real two-state solution.

Third, it is time to support Israel proudly and fully. Israel has done everything possible for peace, taking great risks to do so. But the idea that evenhanded, confidence-building behavior can broker peace is regrettably dead.