Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in Review


Boy’s ‘gun art’ on display at art fair in Miami

MIAMI (AP) — Charles Gitnick is only 11 years old, but his art appears far more mature.

The sixth-grader from Los Angeles places toy guns that look like real weapons on a canvas and paints over them, purposely camouflaging them in an abstract design. He says it’s a way to express his fear of gun violence.

His work will be on display at an exhibit, “3D Gun Art,” which coincides with Art Basel Miami Beach, one the world’s most prestigious contemporary art fairs. The event is the U.S. extension of the fair held each June in Basel, Switzerland. It runs through Sunday.

Charles started painting landscapes, seascapes and palm trees at age 5. In 2011, he wrapped a toy rifle in newspaper clippings of violence and mounted it on a canvass of similar news articles.

“This seemed like a way to say to adults that kids shouldn’t feel scared as I did – that being at school shouldn’t be scary or dangerous,” he said.

He has since sold more than three dozen pieces for about $1,500 each, mostly showcasing his work on streets in California and New York. Charles picks the toy guns depending on what kind of piece he wants to make — either large or small.
( More )


Revelers start ringing in 2014 with fireworks

The story is right here.

The New York Times wants President Hillary Clinton.

A national defense analyst believes The New York Times may be successful in its latest attempt to help potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times published an extensive report Sunday which attempts to cast doubt on Republican claims that al Qaeda played a key role in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
( Thanks to media, Hillary may escape scrutiny over Benghazi )

Michelle Obama praises lesbian TV anchor

Read the story.

Yesterday’s ( Friday ) Posts ( until next Week’s blogging )


A&E Welcomes Phil Robertson Back to ‘Duck Dynasty’
“Christmas of the Talking Animals”
How I Escaped the Mormon Temple
Jesse Jackson Demands Meeting With A&E to Discuss Duck Dynasty’s Robertson
Ft. Bragg chapel ceremony labeled a ‘desecration of God’s holy altar’


A&E Welcomes Phil Robertson Back to ‘Duck Dynasty’


The good news is right here.

“Christmas of the Talking Animals”

My friend Denny did a great Christmas teaching. You can hear it by going to the Vital Signs Ministries’ website
Some information about the piece is below.
“If a quiet 1/2 hour ever comes along in your hectic holiday schedule, you might enjoy this rural Christmas story I wrote several years ago. I think you’ll find it a winsome, wholesome story with a very old-fashioned ingredient; namely, a spiritual moral. It’s a story (not strict autobiography, by the way) about a 9-year old boy and his lively imagination spending a remarkable 1952 Christmas at his grandpa’s Missouri farm.”

How I Escaped the Mormon Temple

My husband and I had joined the LDS Church at age 25 after Mormon missionaries knocked on our front door. We had both attended Protestant churches growing up, but we rarely if ever read the Bible. We assumed that joining was a Christian option (85 percent of LDS converts come from biblical Christianity). We were unprepared to counter the missionaries.
Immediately and always active in the church, we raised our four children in the faith in Indiana. Serving untold hours in church callings, reading Mormon scripture, tithing, attending meetings, keeping a health code, and doing genealogy so we could redeem the dead in the temple—these were a few of our offerings to the Mormon God.
In all the years of serving the church, I thought I knew Jesus. We believed he was born first as a spirit child to Heavenly Father and Mother, and came to Earth to receive a body. He atoned for our sins in the Garden. Like the Pharisee in Luke 18, I thought I knew him better than others through the exclusive instruction I received in the temple.
In 1999, I completed my doctorate in education and was hired at BYU. We moved to Zion.
And life was good there. On Sundays we sang:
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
Sound like Jesus? Nope, this hymn is about Joseph Smith. Here’s the first verse:
Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings will extol him and nations revere.
Like Heavenly Father and Jesus before him—like Smith himself—Michael was working to become a god. This is one reason we attended the temple regularly.
Then, something unexpected interrupted our perfect Mormon life.
Three weeks before the end of his two-year mission, Micah called to tell us he was being sent home early—a horrific disgrace in Mormon culture. He had been reading the New Testament. There he encountered a different Jesus than the one I was taught about in Mormonism—a God of grace, not of works, so that no one can boast. Micah was riveted.
To a roomful of missionaries at his parting testimony, Micah had professed faith in Jesus alone and not the Mormon Church. He told them he had found a deep and genuine faith—one that didn’t include Mormonism. It did not go over well. Church leaders told us that Micah had the spirit of the Devil in him, sent him home, and subsequently, back in Utah, invited us to bring him before the high council. To prevent excommunication, we put Micah on a plane out of Utah. His expulsion put our family in turmoil.
( More )

Jesse Jackson Demands Meeting With A&E to Discuss Duck Dynasty’s Robertson

Read the story.