Finally, conservatives are taking it to the streets.
* I should point out that opening up the state should not be a red or blue specific event. We all have something to lose. Democrats and liberals should join us in our task. We can pick up the politics later when regain our Freedom.
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him…. They said to him, “…Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” … And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight…. So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
Acts 2:14, 22-24, 32-33
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: “You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it…. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”
In law, there’s an important concept critical to the determination of truth.
The concept is “percipient witness”. According to Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, a percipient witness is “A witness who testifies about things she or he actually perceived. For example, an eyewitness.”
The apostles and disciples were the percipient witnesses of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, but their testimonies are ignored by many to this day.
And yet we believe 100% there was a person named Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher revered as the founder of Western political philosophy, although the time and place of his birth are unknown, and there are varying accounts of when and how he died. Even the origin of his name is unknown. As the Wikipedia entry admits:
Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about Plato’s early life and education…. The exact time and place of Plato’s birth are unknown. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens…between 429 and 423 BC…. The traditional date of Plato’s birth…428 or 427 BC, is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laërtius….
Only the risen Christ could have so convinced sane, rational men such as the eleven apostles and the two disciples in Luke 24, as to completely, with assistance from the Holy Spirit, transform them into men they were not. Only by seeing the risen Christ — by speaking, walking, and eating with Him and in the case of doubting Thomas, by touching the wounds of the risen Christ — could the apostles have changed overnight from being frightened little rabbits into fearless outspoken men whom no one could silence and who went to a martyr’s death, willingly and joyfully, for their risen Lord.
This is how the Apostles — percipient witnesses of the transfigured and later resurrected Christ — died, testifying to the truth they’d witnessed until their last breath:
St. Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity, was stoned to death in Jerusalem, c. AD 34.
St. James, son of Zebedee and brother of St. John the Apostle, was the first Apostle to be martyred. King Herod had St. James beheaded in 44 AD.
St. James, son of Alpheus, was reported by the Jewish historian Josephus to have been stoned and then clubbed to death in 62 AD.
St. Jude Thaddaeus was crucified in Syria, c. 65 AD.
St. Simon the Zealot ministered in Persia and was sawn in half, c. 65 AD after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
St. Peter and St. Paul were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. St. Paul was beheaded. St. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, because he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
St. Mark, a rope around his neck, was dragged to death in Alexandria, Egypt, in AD 68.
St. Thomas was pierced to death in India, 72 AD, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder.
St. Matthias, who was chosen to replace Judas, was burned to death in Syria, c. 80 AD.
St. Bartholomew (identified as Nathaniel in the Gospel of John) is believed to have been skinned alive and crucified. He ministered in India with St. Thomas, in Armenia, Ethiopia and Southern Arabia.
St. Philip was crucified in Hierapolis, Asia Minor, 80 AD, for converting the wife of a Roman proconsul. He also ministered in North Africa.
St. Andrew was crucified in Patras, Greece. He also preached in Asia Minor and modern-day Turkey. Christians in the former Soviet Union say he was the first to bring the Gospel to their land.
St. Matthew was beheaded in Ethiopia. He had also ministered in Persia.
St. John was the only Apostle who died a natural death from old age, after surviving an ordeal of being thrown into boiling oil. He was the leader of the church in Ephesus and is said to have taken care of Mary the mother of Jesus in his home. In mid-90s AD, he was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the last book of the New Testament–the Revelation.
1 Peter 1:20-21
He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Our Lord has risen! — and through His resurrection, we are promised and we know that we, too, will live beyond this mortal life, to be with Him, our Creator, forever.
In fact, just stroking our companion animal calms us and lowers our blood pressure. But it turns out the benefits are mutual — being cuddled by us helps keep our pets healthy!
In 2015, two professors at the University of Queensland, Australia — Nadine Gourkow and Clive J.C. Phillips — published the results of a study they conducted on the effects that human interaction of petting, playing and grooming had on the health of shelter cats.
(1) The study’s subjects were 139 cats who had been rated as “anxious” upon admission to an animal shelter. The cats were divided into an Experimental or Control Group:
Cats in the Experimental Group were “gentled” four times daily for 10 minutes over period of 10 days. “Gentling” is defined as positive human interaction, including petting, playing, and grooming.
Cats in the Control Group were treated to a human standing in front of the cage with eyes averted for the same 10-day period.
(2) Each cat’s mood or “persistent emotional state” was rated daily during those 10 days as “anxious,” “frustrated” or “content”.
(3) During the course of the experiment, the cats’ health was accessed on:
Their total secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA), quantified from faeces by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Immunoglobulin A (IgA, also referred to as sIgA in its secretory form) is an antibody that plays a crucial role in the immune function of mucous membranes. In other words, S-IgA is a measure of the health of the cats’ immune system because antibodies fight off infection.
Whether they developed an upper respiratory disease, determined by:
Clinical signs of upper respiratory disease — of eye and/or nasal discharge.
Gentled cats were more likely to be content and less likely to be anxious or frustrated than Control cats. A sign of anxiety or frustration is shedding: Control cats had a significant increase in shedding, but not the Gentled cats.
Gentled cats had a healthier immune system — more secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) — compared to Control cats.
Gentled cats were less likely to develop upper respiratory disease, Control cats being 2.4 times more likely to develop upper respiratory disease (P 0.0001).
The study concluded that sustained interaction with humans, including petting, playing, grooming, can have positive effects on the mood (contentment) and health (better immune system, reduced incidence of upper respiratory diseases) of cats in animal shelters.
In other words, cuddling our cats is good for their health!
A black dog in Columbia, Negro (“negro” is Spanish for “black”), displays a remarkable intelligence in that he seems to understand the concept of money or currency as a medium of exchange.
About seven years ago in 2013, Negro wandered onto the campus of the Diversified Technical Education Institute (Instituto Educativo Técnico Diversificado) in Monterrey, Casanare, Columbia.
Negro quickly discovered the campus store where students would go during their breaks and purchase food.
Negro watched as the students hand money (in the form of peso banknotes) to the store, then receiving food back.
But the dog didn’t have access to money, so he decided that leaves would be his currency.
As recountedby Angela Garcia Bernal, a teacher at the institute:
“He would go to the store and watch the children give money and receive something in exchange. Then one day, spontaneous, he appeared with a leaf in his mouth, wagging his tail and letting it be known that he wanted a cookie. When you first see it, you almost want to cry. He’s found a way to make himself understood. He’s very intelligent.””
Store attendant Gladys Barreto said:
“He comes for cookies every day. He always pays with a leaf. It is his daily purchase.”
“. . . was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead….” –Apostles’ Creed
The Saturday between Good Friday (when our Lord was crucified) and Easter Sunday (when He rose from the dead) is given little attention, although what Jesus did in that interregnum is no less significant.
On Holy Saturday, Jesus Christ our Lord undertook some of the most dramatic and important work of His salvific mission.
He went into the depths of “hell” — a realm of the dead called “the limbo of the patriarchs,” which was without the punishments of the damned and which no longer exists.
There, awaiting His coming, were the departed just. Among them were Adam and Eve (despite their terrible sin of grandiosity and disobedience, the lasting legacy of which is the Original Sin that stains every human), St. John the Baptist, and Jesus’ foster-father St. Joseph. To the souls of the just, Jesus proclaimed He had won their salvation and led them as the first entrants into Heaven.
Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him, Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying:
“Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise.
I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth.
For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God.
The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”