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Expat wanderer

Doha, Qatar on House Hunters International

Oh what fun – last night on House Hunters International, I got to search for an apartment in Doha. Well, not really, but virtually. Here is what the episode description says on HGTV:

 

Just after getting married to Meena, architect Ken jumped at the chance to help design Doha’s new international airport. So, they’re trading in the golden state of California for the golden lands of Qatar. But as these newlyweds discover each other, the new city of Doha is also discovering its own identity as it moves towards the future. From sleek new development to traditional neighborhoods, real estate agent Ana Figueiredo will help them navigate Doha’s changing landscape. Watch as House Hunters International uncovers all that glitters in Doha, Qatar.

 

I checked YouTube; the episode is not yet up. It was so much fun, seeing this young couple in the Souks, down near Al Saad in Mirqab, and out at the Pearl. The apartment they settled on was in Al Ashmak, near the Corniche; I think it was one of the Bilal apartment buildings.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Moving, Qatar | , , , , | 4 Comments

Mr. Henry White Wants to Show Us His Gratitude

Dear Friend,

 Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed at the 
course of the Uk Online Lotto Winning cheque shipment to your location,

 I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of 
$950,000USD (Nine Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars).

 I have authorized the finance house where I deposited the money to issue you 
international certified bank draft cashable at your bank.

 My dear Friend,I will like you to contact the CEO in charge of the finance 
house for the collection of this international certified bank draft.

 The name of the Person with your Cheque is MR DAVID WILLIAMS
 COMPENSATION AND FINANCE HOUSE HEAD OFFICE
 CONTACT AGENT : MR DAVID WILLIAMS
 Email:david.williams.09003@hotmail.com

 Finance and Security House United Kingdom Deposit Firm FSH Towers Chelsea T45H 
U.K. At the moment, I am very busy at Sydney,Australia because of the investment
 projects which myself and my new partner Mr Peter Hills of CTL Company are
 having at hand.

 Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to Mr David Williams at the 
finance house on your behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you 
contact him without delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good 
faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.

 Thanks and God bless you and your family.

 My sincere advice to you as a christian is that you should endeavour to pay 
your tithe to a bible believing church when you get the money because i noticed 
it as a fudiciary agent that you were skeptical about your winnings when you 
were been ask by the Uk lotto Agency Inc to file out a claim for your prize.

 And now the current policy of the Lotto organiser is that if an emerged winner 
fails to claim up his/her winning cheque of $950,000USDOLARS it's now mandatory 
that this fund can be remitted or forfeited to the fudiciary agent in charge of 
this winners file.

 1. Full Names:
 2. Residential Address:
 3. Phone Number:
 4. Fax Number:
 5. Occupation:
 6. Sex:
 7. Age :
 8. Nationality:
 9. Present Country:

 However, I want you to contact him immediately as soon as you receive this 
information because he is leaving for the US by the end of this month and this 
might cost a delayment for you to receive this draft. Hope to hear from you 
soon.

 Yours Faithfully

 Mr. Henry White
 Compensator Officer
 

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Financial Issues, Lies, Scams | , | Leave a comment

Western Diet Killer:

From the UK Daily Mail Online:

The Western diet really IS a killer: People who eat white bread, butter and red meat are most likely to die young

  • Those who ate fried and unhealthy food had doubled risk of early death
  • Key culprits include red meat, white bread, butter, cream and sweet foods
  • Findings ‘help explain’ why heart disease is still the UK’s biggest killer

By ANNA HODGEKISS

PUBLISHED: 13:20 EST, 16 April 2013 | UPDATED: 02:08 EST, 17 April 2013

The typical Western diet, high in fat and sugar, really does lead to an early grave, new research suggests.

A study of more than 5,000 civil servants found those who ate the most fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, white bread and butter and cream doubled their risk of premature death or ill health in old age.

It adds to evidence that ‘Western style food’ is the reason why heart disease claims about 94,000 lives a year in the UK – more than any other illness.

The findings published in The American Journal of Medicine are based on a survey of British adults and suggest adherence to the diet increases the risk of premature death and disability later in life.

People who ate the most fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, white bread, butter and cream doubled their risk of premature death or ill health in old agePeople who ate the most fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, white bread, butter and cream doubled their risk of premature death or ill health in old age

Lead researcher, Dr Tasnime Akbaraly, of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France, said: ‘The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages.’

She examined whether  diet, assessed in midlife, using dietary patterns and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), is associated with physical ageing 16 years later.

The AHEI is an index of diet quality, originally designed to provide dietary guidelines with the specific intention to combat major chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

More…

 

Dr Akbaraly added: ‘We showed that following specific dietary recommendations such as the one provided by the AHEI may be useful in reducing the risk of unhealthy ageing, while avoidance of the “Western-type foods” might actually improve the possibility of achieving older ages free of chronic diseases.’

The researchers analysed data from the British Whitehall II cohort study and found following the AHEI can double the odds of reversing metabolic syndrome, a range of disorders known to cause heart disease and mortality.

The research adds to evidence that Western style food is the reason why heart disease claims about 94,000 lives a year in the UK - more than any other illnessThe research adds to evidence that Western style food is the reason why heart disease claims about 94,000 lives a year in the UK – more than any other illness

They followed 3,775 men and 1,575 women from 1985-2009 with a mean age of 51 years.

Using a combination of hospital data, results of screenings conducted every five years, and registry data, investigators identified death rates and chronic diseases among participants.

At the follow up stage, just four per cent had achieved ‘ideal ageing’ – classed as being free of chronic conditions and having high performance in physical, mental and mental agility tests.

About 12 per cent had suffered a non-fatal cardiovascular event such as a stroke or heart attack, while almost three per cent had died from cardiovascular disease.

About three quarters were categorised as going through ‘normal ageing’.

The researchers said participants who hadn’t really stuck to the AHEI increased their risk of death, either from heart disease or another cause.

Those who followed a ‘Western-type diet’ consisting of fried and sweet food, processed food and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products, lowered their chances for ideal ageing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2310053/The-Western-diet-really-IS-killer-People-eat-white-bread-butter-red-meat-likely-die-young.html#ixzz2QkUxf96L

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Aging, Cooking, Cultural, Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Food, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Statistics | Leave a comment

Worst Drivers in the World: Traffic Fatalities by Country

Driving in the Middle East is a whole other world, a world of chaos until you realize that the rules are different, no matter what the published rules are. To drive in Qatar, I started at 0430 on a Friday morning, when there was little or no traffic (things have changed) and would drive until traffic began to thicken. Eventually, I knew the city and gained confidence that I could drive without getting killed. In Kuwait, for months, I would only drive to relatively nearby shopping areas, or drive only on back roads carefully plotted on the map during low traffic hours. After a while, you begin to get a sense of things, and the sensation of imminent death lessens.

Adventures in Qatar: a radiator dropping off a truck in front of me, being hit on purpose by a man who didn’t like women driving, being pushed into a round about by a Hummer, being nearly assaulted by two young Qataris who believed we had insulted them by being in the lane where they wanted to be, watching men drive up the wrong side of the ring roads because they were too important to wait in line, later standing and laughing at their crashed cars – Daddy would buy them another. It sounds crazy, but you get used to it.

thumbs_kuwait-1

Kuwait was a whole different ball game, controlled chaos at high speeds. Adventures in Kuwait: the sleeping elderly man driving in the lane next to me who almost hit me, watching drivers drive through red lights as if they were green, sparks off the fenders of SUVs on Highway 30 as people wove quickly in and out of traffic, the dramatic crashed and burned out cars on the sides of the highways, the car impaled on a palm tree – 10 feet above the road. Kuwait was so surreal that I couldn’t even begin to imagine how some of the accidents happened; I learned to be a very prayerful driver.

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So out of idle curiosity, today I looked up highest rate of traffic fatalities per country, and found this on Wikipedia. So here’s a surprise . . . Kuwait’s fatalities statistic is roughly equal to that of the United States. Qatar’s is significantly higher, and many countries are even double or triple Kuwaits fatality rate. I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around this.

List of countries       Fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants

World                          20.8

Afghanistan              39.0
Albania                       13.9
Angola                        37.7
Argentina                   13.7
Armenia                      13.9
Australia                     5.71
Austria                         8.2
Azerbaijan                  13.0
Bahamas                     14.5
Bahrain                       12.1
Bangladesh                12.6
Barbados                    12.2
Belarus                       10.9
Belgium                      10.1
Belize                           15.6
Benin                          31.2 1
Bhutan                       14.4
Bolivia                        16.7
Bosnia and Herzegovina 10.9
Botswana                  33.8
Brazil                          19.9
British Virgin Islands 21.7
Brunei Darussalam 13.8
Bulgaria                    8.8
Burkina Faso          31.1
Burundi                    23.4
Cambodia                12.1
Cameroon               28.1
Canada                      9.2
Cape Verde              25.1
Central African Republic 32.2
Chad                         34.3
Chile                         13.7
China                          5.1
Colombia                  11.7
Comoros                   30.3
Republic of the Congo 28.8
Cook Islands           45.0
Costa Rica                15.4
Croatia                        9.1
Cuba                            8.6
Cyprus                       10.4
Czech Republic       10.4
Denmark                    3.1
Dominican Republic 17.3
Ecuador                      11.7
Egypt                           42.0
El Salvador                12.6
Eritrea                         48.4
Estonia                          7.5
Ethiopia                       35.0
Fiji                                   7.0
Finland                         6.5
France                           5.5
The Gambia               36.6
Georgia                        16.8
Germany                       4.5
Ghana                           9.32
Greece                          14.4
Guatemala                  14.7
Guinea-Bissau           34.4
Guyana                        19.9
Honduras                    13.5
Hungary                      9.9
Iceland                         3.8
India                             11.1
Indonesia                    16.2
Iran                               35.8
Iraq                               38.1
Republic of Ireland     3.51
Israel                               3.7
Italy                                 8.7
Jamaica                        12.3
Japan                              3.85
Jordan                           34.2
Kazakhstan                 30.6
Kenya                             34.4
Kiribati                            7.4
Republic of Korea        11.3
Kuwait                            16.9
Kyrgyzstan                     22.8
Laos                                 18.3
Latvia                                8.7
Lebanon                         28.5
Lesotho                           26.7
Liberia                             32.9
Libya                                40.5
Lithuania                        14.8
Luxembourg                     9.0
Madagascar                   33.7
Malawi                            26.0
Malaysia                          24.1
Maldives                          18.3
Mali                                  32.1
Malta                                  3.4
Marshall Islands            7.4
Mauritania                      35.5
Mauritius                         11.1
Mexico                              20.7
Federated States of Micronesia 14.4
Mongolia                         14.5
Montenegro                    14.6
Morocco                          28.3
Mozambique                     7.0
Myanmar                        23.4
Namibia                          28.6
Nauru                                 9.9
Nepal                                15.1
Netherlands                     3.9
New Zealand                   8.6
Nicaragua                      14.2
Niger                               37.7
Nigeria                           32.3
Norway                            5.4

Oman                              21.3

Pakistan                         25.3
Palau                               14.8
Palestinian territories 5.6
Panama                          12.7
Papua New Guinea      14.2
Paraguay                        19.7
Peru                                 21.5
Philippines                   20.0
Poland                           10.7
Portugal                          7.9
Puerto Rico                   12.8
Qatar                              23.7
Republic of Macedonia 6.9
Republic of Moldova 15.1
Romania                         9.4
Russia                            19.5
Rwanda                         31.6
Saint Lucia                   17.6
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6.6
Samoa                           12.8
San Marino                  0
Sao Tome and Principe 33.0
Saudi Arabia                29.0
Senegal                          32.5
Serbia                              9.8
Seychelles                     18.5
Sierra Leone                28.3
Singapore                       4.8
Slovakia                          7.1
Slovenia                        10.4
Solomon Islands        16.9
South Africa                 33.2
Spain                               6.9
Sri Lanka                      13.5
Sudan                             34.7
Suriname                       15.8
Swaziland                     26.3
Sweden                            2.9
Switzerland                    4.7
Syrian Arab Republic 32.9
Tajikistan                     14.1
Thailand                       19.6
Timor-Leste                 16.1
Togo                               28.1
Tonga                               7.0
Trinidad and Tobago 15.5
Tunisia                          34.5
Turkey                            13.4
Turkmenistan             18.6
Tuvalu                             9.5
Uganda                         24.7
Ukraine                         11.2
United Arab Emirates 37.1
United Kingdom           3.59
United Republic of Tanzania 34.3
United States of America 12.3
Uruguay                        12.8
Uzbekistan                    9.7
Vanuatu                        18.6
Venezuela                     21.8
Vietnam                        16.1
Yemen                           29.3
Zambia                         25.6
Zimbabwe                    27.5

Like all statistics, I think some are honest, and some need to be taken with a grain of salt. I found reading through them fascinating. You can get more information, accidents per thousand cars, total accidents, etc.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Law and Order, Lies, Living Conditions, Qatar, Road Trips, Safety, Statistics, Technical Issue | , | 6 Comments

This is Your Boston Marathon First Victim – SHAME

This is on AOL News – information on the first victim from the first blast in the Boston Marathon. This is your victim, bomber, an eight year old boy. His mother is also hospitalized. Hang your head in shame.

a-MARTINRICHARD-386x217

Martin Richard was standing near the finish line, waiting for his father to complete the grueling Boston Marathon on Monday, when an explosion took his life.

He was 8 years old and in the third grade.

Neighbor Jane Sherman told WCVB that Martin was a typical little boy, who loved to ride his bike and play baseball.

Martin’s mother, Denise, was hospitalized with “grievous injuries,” The Times of London reported. She reportedly underwent surgery late Monday for an injury to her brain.

His 6-year-old sister, a first grader whose name was not made public, lost her leg in the blast, WHDH reported.

The status of his father, William, has not been released. A third child was reportedly unharmed in the explosion.

Boston Marathon Winners, lost in the aftermath of the explosions:

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This is the face of America – welcoming all nations and all races to compete in the Boston Marathon. The winners were Ethiopian and Kenyan, and we celebrate their victories, year after year. Their nationality doesn’t concern us, their race is irrelevant, their politics are their own – they are all welcome to race, runners from all nations.

BOSTON — The Kenyans finally face a challenge to their dominance of the Boston Marathon, and it’s from their East African neighbors.

Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa took the title in the 117th edition of the world’s oldest marathon on Monday, winning a three-way sprint down Boylston Street to finish in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds and snap a string of three consecutive Kenyan victories.

“Here we have a relative newcomer,” said Ethiopia’s Gebregziabher Gebremariam, who finished third. “Everything changes.”

In just his second race at the 26.2-mile distance, Desisa finished 5 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Micah Kogo to earn $150,000 and the traditional olive wreath. American Jason Hartmann finished fourth for the second year in a row.

“It was more of a tactical race, the Ethiopian versus the Kenyans. That fight played out very well,” defending champion Wesley Korir, a Kenyan citizen and U.S. resident, said after finishing fifth.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Civility, Community, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Events, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Political Issues | Leave a comment

Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Now than Last 1,000 Years

Found this morning on AOL News; this is not good news.

antarctic-sea-ice

Summer Ice Melt In Antarctica Is At The Highest Point In 1,000 Years, Researchers Say

Reuters | Posted: 04/15/2013 2:39 am EDT | Updated: 04/15/2013 6:36 pm EDT

CANBERRA (Reuters) – The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves.

Researchers from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey found data taken from an ice core also shows the summer ice melt has been 10 times more intense over the past 50 years compared with 600 years ago.

“It’s definitely evidence that the climate and the environment is changing in this part of Antarctica,” lead researcher Nerilie Abram said.

Abram and her team drilled a 364-metre (400-yard) deep ice core on James Ross Island, near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, to measure historical temperatures and compare them with summer ice melt levels in the area.

They found that, while the temperatures have gradually increased by 1.6 degrees Celsius (2.9 degrees Fahrenheit) over 600 years, the rate of ice melting has been most intense over the past 50 years.

That shows the ice melt can increase dramatically in climate terms once temperatures hit a tipping point.

“Once your climate is at that level where it is starting to go above zero degrees, the amount of melt that will happen is very sensitive to any further increase in temperature you may have,” Abram said.

Robert Mulvaney, from the British Antarctic Survey, said the stronger ice melts are likely responsible for faster glacier ice loss and some of the dramatic collapses from the Antarctic ice shelf over the past 50 years.

Their research was published in the Nature Geoscience journal.

(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Paul Tait)

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Environment, Experiment, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Locard Exchange Principal, Weather | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Backyard Haven

We’ve had a stormy weekend, temperatures dropped once again and we were able to turn off the air conditioning and open all the windows 🙂 I love the cool winds. Today is overcast and warmer, sigh, but still not so hot as to have to close the windows and turn on the A/C.

Meanwhile, we are enjoying our yard, including the new Mother’s Day gift – to me, and more widely, to my family. Everyone loves this swing!

00GardenSwing

 

I’ve started up some new roses from my ever-flowering old branches, which the Pensacola Rose Society helped me identify as French Lace:

00FrenchLace

 

AdventureMan has potted up our mints – we have a large variety – and they are thriving! We also appear to have a good crop of blueberries coming in! 🙂

 

00Blueberries

00FreshMints

 

 

 

April 15, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Gardens, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Weather | Leave a comment

Undoing Public Disclosure, One Small Move at a Time

I am appalled. I have scoured the TV News, have looked through newspapers – not a word! I steam at corruption in Kuwait and Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and then a small NPR Report on yesterday’s news alerts me to a measure, passed in Congress, WITHOUT A WHISPER!

(oh? I was shouting? Sorry. Carried away. Outraged) You can access the NPR station and listen to the entire repulsive report by clicking here.

Congress Repeals Financial Disclosure Requirements For Senior U.S. Officials

by EYDER PERALTA

April 12, 2013 4:11 PM

A tourist takes cover underneath an umbrella while snapping a photo of the U.S. Capitol on March 6, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joining the Senate, the House of Representatives approved a measure today that repeals a requirement that top government officials post financial disclosures on the Internet.

The House, like the Senate, acted quietly without a vote. Instead, they sent the measure to the president’s desk by unanimous consent.

The provision was part of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (Stock), which became law in March of 2012. The act was intended to stop members of congress from profiting from nonpublic information.

As NPR’s Tamara Keith reported, at the time, Sen. Joe Lieberman called the law “the most significant congressional ethics reform legislation to pass Congress in at least five years.”

The Washington Post explains:

“That law mainly addressed conflict-of-interest policies for members of Congress and their staffs, but it also included a requirement that the financial disclosure forms filed by some 28,000 high-ranking federal employees be posted online.

“While those forms are public records, they must be requested individually from employing agencies. The Stock Act envisions online posting first on agency sites and later in a central, searchable database.

“The posting requirement was delayed three times out of concerns about the potential for identity theft and other crimes against career employees, as well as security risks to the government.”

The Sunlight Foundation, which advocates for a more open government,called today’s repeal an “epic failure.”

The foundation explained that instead of addressing specific security concerns, Congress has acted broadly.

For instance, they note, the president, vice president, members of Congress, congressional candidates and individuals subject to Senate confirmation are still required to make their financial disclosures public. But the change in law now makes the posting of those disclosures on the Internet optional.

Sunlight adds:

“Not only does the change undermine the intent of the original bill to ensure government insiders are not profiting from non-public information (if anyone thinks high level congressional staffers don’t have as much or more insider information than their bosses, they should spend some time on Capitol Hill) but it sets an extraordinarily dangerous precedent suggesting that any risks stem not from information being public but from public information being online.

“Are we going to return to the days when the public can use the Internet to research everything exceptwhat their government is doing? Will Congress, in its twisted wisdom, decide that information is public if journalists, academics, advocates and citizens are forced to dig through file cabinets in basements in Washington, DC to find it? And does anyone think that makes us safer?

“As my colleague Tom Lee noted, ‘This approach is known as ‘security through obscurity.’ Essentially, the idea is that rather than fixing a system’s flaws, you can just make the system opaque or unusable or unpopular enough that those flaws never surface.'”

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET. 30 Seconds:

NPR’s Tamara Keith tells us the House procedure took exactly 30 seconds.

Correction at 5:29 p.m. ET. An earlier version of his post said the House followed the Senate. In fact, the Senate voted Thursday and the House voted today.

April 14, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Communication, Community, Crime, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Lies, Middle East, News, NonFiction, Political Issues, Statistics, Transparency, Values | , , | Leave a comment

“I Joined the Navy Because of the Blue Angels”

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One of our recent house guests was here visiting when it was announced that the 2013 Blue Angel season was cancelled. It was a stunning blow to the Pensacola community – we ALL love the booming roar of those jets screeching over our houses when they practice. All heads look up. It might sound annoying, all that noise, but it isn’t – it’s exciting! We’re proud to be home to the Blue Angels.

“You know, I joined the navy because of the Blue Angels,” he said.

No. I didn’t know that.

He saw them when he was a boy, living in Idaho (yearning to escape Idaho) and they ignited his imagination. He didn’t need to BE a Blue Angel, but he wanted to be a part of what they were a part of.

When cutting budgets, we all gotta do what we gotta do. Budget cuts suck, no matter what level you are on. But losing a Blue Angel season – ouch! That really hurts!

April 14, 2013 Posted by | Beauty, Bureaucracy, Cultural, Education, Entertainment, Events, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Work Related Issues | , , , , | 4 Comments

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo Survive the Test of Fire

Some of the stories you come across in the Bible are so horrifying – and so human – that they still have a compelling immediacy. People do the most horrible things to one another, it mystifies me. This King, Nebuchadnezzar, is so incensed that his Jewish bureaucrats won’t bow down and worship his statue that he orders them cast into a furnace, which he heats seven times hotter than normal. That’s pretty angry!

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Daniel 3:19-30

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace to be heated up seven times more than was customary, 20and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21So the men were bound, still wearing their tunics,* their trousers,* their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire.

22Because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counsellors, ‘Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?’ They answered the king, ‘True, O king.’

25He replied, ‘But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.’* 26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!’

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counsellors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics* were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them.

28Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.’ 30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

When I read this, I think of the recent legislation proposed in Kuwait against insulting God or his prophets. Let men insult. Let them build their gods, their statures, let them pursue their little gods of vanity, power and wealth. The one true God laughs. He holds all the true power. He doesn’t need our protection; he is in charge.

In Florida, some friends complain about “the law that says our kids can’t pray in school.” There is no law that says kids can’t pray in school. Kids pray in school all the time! I did, specially when I had a really hard test I hadn’t prepared adequately for 🙂 What the law says is that no one can make all pray together, using the same words, as we did at one time. It’s not such a bad thing; even as Christians, we don’t all share the same beliefs. You might not want your children praying a prayer I might compose 🙂 because I might have a dogmatic belief a little different from your own. Our job is to teach our children to pray; the Holy Spirit will be with them, and put the words in their hearts.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Leadership, Lectionary Readings, Venice | Leave a comment