Pathway in the Sea

Ever see a butterfly flutter by? John 3:7-8

Psalm 77:19

Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

"The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick along side it."

-D. L. Moody

Sunday, February 15, 2015

This was Rabbi Graetz's text for his message about Michael Liepman's resignation as Office Manager at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, Ca. on the evening of Friday, February 13th, 2015:

Today's Devotions

February 15

Exodus 21:5-6 (NIV) 5"But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' 6then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

The Israelites had a very humane and self-respecting way of dealing with financial difficulty. If you could not make ends meet, you could sell yourself as a slave for a seven-year period. Very clear laws protected the way you were to be treated. During the seven years you would have food and shelter. At the end of the time, you were set free with money to begin again.
If you chose to stay with your master, if you found that place to be more suited to you than the outside world, you could give yourself as a lifelong slave to your master. Some slaves found their master to be kind and generous, and life in their service was much more secure and meaningful than struggling to make a way for themselves.
When one decided to do this, his master would take him to the door of the home. His right ear would be pierced with an awl to the doorpost. He would then be a lifelong bondservant. Why pierce the right ear? The door represents the entrance and exit to the home. Now his ear is to be attentive to the needs in this home, attending to its needs alone.
Several of the writers of the New Testament refer to themselves as a love-servant of Jesus Christ. They had given themselves for life to have their ear attentive to the needs of the heavenly home. They would no longer consider a life outside in their own house but now turn all their attention to the directions given them in their new home.
Consider: Have you become a bondservant of Jesus? There is no better Master and no more meaningful service. Is your ear His?

February 15

Matthew 8:8-10 (NIV) 8The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

A centurion came to Jesus to ask for the healing of a servant that was suffering terribly. Romans typically thought of servants as tools that were discarded when worn out or damaged. This Roman, that was probably a battle-hardened overseer of 100 soldiers, had a heart. He must have heard about the crowds that came to Jesus and were healed. It inspired faith in him to believe that this man, Jesus, had ability beyond that of ordinary men. Having been assigned to that region, he knew the Jews' deep faith and devotion to one God. All these factors put him in a difficult position. His culture was radically different from that of the Jews, and yet he found hope and power in this Jewish Rabbi.
When he explained his need to Jesus, Jesus said he would come and heal the servant. Most religious leaders of the day would not set foot in a Gentile home. They thought it would defile them, but Jesus was ready to help this Gentile seeker of truth. Then the centurion made an amazing parallel. He asked for Jesus just to speak the word and the servant would be healed. He explained that he is a man of authority and just has to give orders and people carry it out. The suggestion is that Jesus can do the same in the spiritual realm.
Jesus was astonished. His own people don't see so clearly. The people with the writings of the prophets and examples of God dealing with man didn't see Jesus' authority as clearly as this Roman. Do you?
Consider: One word from Jesus and the physical world is changed forever. It is His word that sustains all things. His words created all things. His word can transform you and those you care about.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Spurgeon's Evening by Evening
September 7

"There is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet." --Jeremiah 49:23 

Little know we what sorrow may be upon the sea at this moment. We are safe in our quiet chamber, but far away on the salt sea the hurricane may be cruelly seeking for the lives of men. Hear how the death fiends howl among the cordage; how every timber starts as the waves beat like battering rams upon the vessel! God help you, poor drenched and wearied ones! My prayer goes up to the great Lord of sea and land, that He will make the storm a calm, and bring you to your desired haven! Nor ought I to offer prayer alone, I should try to benefit those hardy men who risk their lives so constantly. Have I ever done anything for them? What can I do? How often does the boisterous sea swallow up the mariner! Thousands of corpses lie where pearls lie deep. There is death-sorrow on the sea, which is echoed in the long wail of widows and orphans. The salt of the sea is in many eyes of mothers and wives. Remorseless billows, ye have devoured the love of women, and the stay of households. What a resurrection shall there be from the caverns of the deep when the sea gives up her dead! Till then there will be sorrow on the sea. As if in sympathy with the woes of earth, the sea is for ever fretting along a thousand shores, wailing with a sorrowful cry like her own birds, booming with a hollow crash of unrest, raving with uproarious discontent, chafing with hoarse wrath, or jangling with the voices of ten thousand murmuring pebbles. The roar of the sea may be joyous to a rejoicing spirit, but to the son of sorrow the wide, wide ocean is even more forlorn than the wide, wide world. This is not our rest, and the restless billows tell us so. There is a land where there is no more sea--our faces are steadfastly set towards it; we are going to the place of which the Lord hath spoken. Till then, we cast our sorrows on the Lord who trod the sea of old, and who maketh a way for His people through the depths thereof.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Hell's Angels Quotes

“It had been a bad trip ... fast and wild in some moments, slow and dirty in others, but on balance it looked like a bummer. On my way back to San Francisco, I tried to compose a fitting epitaph. I wanted something original, but there was no escaping the echo of Mistah Kurtz' final words from the heart of darkness: "The horror! The horror! ... Exterminate all the brutes!” ― Hunter S. ThompsonHell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

1 Kings 18

36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; theLord, he is the God.
40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

 In Memory of Hunter S. Thompson: Postcard From Louisville, Kentucky

Online Only, posted 4.15.05
When I stepped off the plane in Aspen, Colorado, in June 1997, I found a 60-year-old Hunter S. Thompson waiting for me in a convertible Cadillac blasting Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" at full volume. I was terrified; he was giddy. He was playing the song because it was a part of the soundtrack put together for the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that was scheduled to hit theaters the following summer, and he could not have been happier. He had gone to the store before picking me up, and the backseat was filled with bags overflowing with Pepsi, Cap'n Crunch, balsamic vinegar, chocolate, and dozens of tubes of red lipstick. There was an oxygen tank, too, and he instructed me to hold the mask to my face and breathe deeply. He told me he "couldn't have the altitude tweaking my work" during that first night as his editorial assistant. With no more of an introduction than that, he lit up a Dunhill, threw his right arm behind my seat, and began driving across the winding mountainside. He slammed on his breaks once to stop and buy seven bags of black cherries from a roadside stand, and then we were off again, speeding straight to his home in Woody Creek.
“Despite the rumors that followed me home when I left, he never held a gun to my head or laid a finger on me, but that’s not to say he didn’t throw a tantrum or two. ”
I had met Hunter six months earlier when he returned to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, for a tribute. It was the first time he'd been back in years and, as it turned out, the last time he ever visited. Johnny Depp was with him, studying his every move for his role as Hunter in the movie. Hunter's mother made an appearance as well, puffing on a cigar from a wheelchair. It was, without a doubt, an event only for diehard Hunter S. Thompson fans. No one could quite understand what he was barking into the microphone, and the three-hour event featured Warren Zevon playing a number of Hunter-inspired tunes, ongoing jokes about the size of Roxanne Pulitzer's breasts in the tight dress she wore that night, and Hunter's use of a fire extinguisher to blast people off the stage. It was interesting, but I didn't think much about him until the following spring when I received a phone call with an invitation to go to Colorado to work for him. His previous editorial assistant had just left, and with the production of the movie and historian Douglas Brinkley collecting his letters, he said he needed help. So, with much trepidation and even more curiosity, I quit my menial, straight-out-of-college job and packed my bags.
My main responsibility was a manuscript titled Polo Is My Life. It had been scheduled to be published in 2000 by the "dingbats" at Simon & Schuster, but it remains unpublished. At that time, Polo consisted of no less than eleven boxes, each one of them representing a chapter, stuffed with everything from typed pages and scribbled napkins to magazine cut-outs, peacock feathers, and Ben-waa balls. It was my job to sort through each box and arrange its contents on a giant corkboard. Then, at about 9:00 in the evening, Hunter would wake up, down three drinks or so, smoke a pipe, and swim twenty-two laps in a neighbor's pool. At about 2:00 in the morning, he would eat dinner—always with salt and pepper and lemon—and we would begin.
Our sessions go something like this: On the corkboard, among many things, is a banner that reads omnia vincit amor, a brutal photograph of a crime scene, a pamphlet for a wedding chapel in Reno, and several pages of text. I read the pages aloud, he tells a few jokes, smokes some more, gets his house shoes, snorts some coke, coughs phlegm into a waste basket, then types a page. He reminds me of how Polo is "a tale of sex and violence, a good old-fashioned love story, like Psycho and Blue Velvet," then hands me the new page to read aloud. I read it but, tiring and thinking he's half out of his mind, I get lazy, accidentally transpose a few words or skip an article. So he reaches under the counter and pinches my leg—hard. I read the page again. He doesn't like the way it sounds and tells me I'm a mischievous little bitch and wants to know where I stashed the CIA "Deep Cover" files I stole. He throws a peach across the room. He retypes the page and has me read it to him again. This time, he bites on his cigarette filter and stares up at the ceiling while he listens. He is pleased and, smiling, says, "Now that's more fucking like it." We place the page face-down on the counter and type another. Into the night and past sunrise and sometimes into the next night we continue, characters like polo heiress Avery Jane Baxter and Charles "Shiteyes" McCrory coming to life, a girl named Jilly marrying her "money-mad brute of a boyfriend" in Reno and driving off in a Lamborghini Jeep, Jilly having "mind-bending" sex with a Samoan fighter named Pisa Finai, and then, finally, dynamite exploding at the CNN headquarters, on "the true Generation of Cowards and Queaslings Who Failed at everything except building new jails and bombing sand-niggers and turning in each other to the Police."
When we are done, he rarely lets me rest. Instead, if it’s the middle of the night, we might drive to Sheriff Bob Braudis's house, lay on the horn until his lights come on, then quickly drive away. If it is day, we might go to a sporting goods store to buy more safari sun hats. Other times he just sits, staring at the television, daring me to go back to my cabin to fall asleep.
Other work I did for him fills a to-do list that reads exactly like this:
1. Confirm executive meeting with Matt at Atlantic Monthly
2. Find HST's cabochon emerald (check the Red Room?)
3. In town, buy batteries, a lighter from Sharper Image, pool socks, habaneros
4. Copy last night's Polo text and send to Brinkley
5. Remind HST to write back Jaya (necrophiliac poet)
6. Send HST watch to jeweler (in envelope on counter) to replace battery
7. Send note to Bernstein at NY Times
8. Executive meeting at George's office about development project Monday, 5:00 p.m.
9. Tomorrow: lunch with Ed Bradley at 1:00. Burritos?
10. Type letter to Ed Turner
11. For Jeep: check transmission (rough shifting), get wind guards for windows and sunroof, have left front headlight and fog light fixed, talk to custom guy in Vale about tinting windows
12. Tell Deborah: HST was not feeling well last night—very faint, heart palpitations, had to lay down for a nap. . .
It was a distinct mixture of important and trivial tasks, of bizarre challenges and sheer boredom. Once I blew up a propane tank when I finally took correct aim at a flint-charged target. I fed the peacocks, I fought with him for hours over a missing jar of liquid acid I had never seen, and I ran down to the Woody Creek Tavern for guacamole. I wound myself up into the Navajo blanket on his couch while watching hours of football, fell asleep sitting up at dinner, and swept countless dead white moths from his floor in the mornings. I took his blood pressure, and after seeing it was dangerously high, I made him a peanut-butter sandwich and sat next to his bed until he finally admitted he was sick and wanted to rest. He could be a perfect Southern gentleman, opening doors, showing me photographs of his high-school sweetheart, making sure I went to the eye doctor for a checkup. We would call his mother on the speakerphone. And once, when he asked if he could kiss me and I declined, he simply shook his head, giggling "Fuck it then" and never mentioned it again. The next evening, he gave me daisies in a paper cup that read “heartbreaking vixen.” But those, of course, were the good times.
Other times I witnessed his atavistic side. Despite the rumors that followed me home when I left, he never held a gun to my head or laid a finger on me, but that’s not to say he didn’t throw a tantrum or two. Paranoid, he would lock everyone out of his cabin for hours at a time, intermittently setting off his alarm and firing guns into the air. One time I watched him beat his car because his cigarettes were locked inside, and another time he threw me out of the house for refusing to watch a snuff film. And he was hell on his new kitten, Hugo, especially when he felt I was paying it too much attention. He would snatch Hugo up, smudge his pink nose in cocaine, and send him darting across the kitchen floor. If I would get up from our work to shut the front door to keep the cat from fleeing outside, he would berate me with a round of screaming, furiously yelling at the top of his lungs that would have addled me if not for my own experience in a fit-throwing family.
He might have, in his own way, respected animals, but he had no compassion for them. For weeks he played a tape recording of a jack rabbit screaming in a trap. The Red Room off to the side of the cabin looked like the Natural History Museum with a stuffed fox, buffalo, wart hog, and wolverine. He made me wear an elk tooth around my neck that he claimed to have gouged out of the animal's skull himself. When he drove past cattle on the road, he would blow his horn and swerve as close as he could to them. "You need to show them a lesson," he said, "because these bastards will stand their ground as long as they can, moving at the very last second." It was like he was playing chicken with these obstinate cows. One bull stood still on the yellow line until Hunter clipped its rump with his fender. He further vindicated his actions by explaining that if you hit an animal on the road, you must hit it hard to keep it from suffering and from wrecking your car. He told me he hit a deer once, "not leaving a bone in its body unbroken—a pile of flesh and bone splinters. I hit it all the way to Woody Creek Tavern."
He often had the same amount of sympathy for me, especially when I would tire. I remained sober, so when two days without sleep would bring on dizziness and nausea, he would simply throw a bottle of Maalox at me. "There, goddamnit,” he would huff. “Drink it and shut up." Nevertheless, I never witnessed the insane rage mentioned in his biographies and suffered no more physical violence than that. He neither intimidated nor comforted me, and through it all I came to know both a redneck genius with an astounding memory for even the slightest details and a cranky, elderly dope fiend that never knew when to stop. I stayed as long as I could, and when I decided to leave, Hunter sent me off with a letter of recommendation for graduate school and a kiss on the forehead.


The main encampment area consists of 160 acres (0.65 km2) of old-growth redwood trees over 1,000 years old, with some trees exceeding 300 feet (90 m) in height.[14]
The primary activities taking place at the Grove are varied and expansive entertainment, such as a grand main stage and a smaller, more intimate stage. Thus, the majority of common facilities are entertainment venues, interspersed among the giant redwoods.

A Bohemian tent in the 1900s, sheltering Porter Garnett, George Sterling and Jack London
There are also sleeping quarters, or "camps" scattered throughout the grove, of which it is reported there were a total of 118 as of 2007. These camps, which are frequently patrilineal, are the principal means through which high-level business and political contacts and friendships are formed.[2]
The pre-eminent camps are:[2][15]
  • Hill Billies (Big Business/Banking/Politics/Universities/Media/Texas Business);
  • Mandalay (Big Business/Defense Contractors/Politics/U.S. Presidents);
  • Cave Man (Think Tanks/Oil Companies/Banking/Defense Contractors/Universities/Media);
  • Stowaway (Rockefeller Family Members/Oil Companies/Banking/Think Tanks);
  • Uplifters (Corporate Executives/Big Business);
  • Owls Nest (U.S. Presidents/Military/Defense Contractors);
  • Hideaway (Foundations/Military/Defense Contractors);
  • Isle of Aves (Military/Defense Contractors);
  • Lost Angels (Banking/Defense Contractors/Media);
  • Silverado squatters (Big Business/Defense Contractors);
  • Sempervirens (California-based Corporations);
  • Hillside (Military—Joint Chiefs of Staff);
  • Idlewild (California-based Corporations)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Monica Crowley (born September 19, 1968) is an American conservative radio and television commentator, and author based in New York City. She has her own radio show and is a Fox News contributor, Washington Times columnist, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[1] While she has presented herself as an expert on Richard Nixon, Crowley was caught plagiarizing an article on Nixon by Paul Johnson which she presented as her own work in the Wall Street Journal. But the article contained several verbatim paragraphs from Johnson's Commentary Magazine article down to his Britishisms.

Apparently, CFR membership is not something we are proud of....

Monica Crowley
Monica's Biography
Monica Crowley began her career in radio on WABC-AM New York as a frequent guest on the "Batchelor and Alexander Show".
Crowley has been a guest on the major TV and cable news channels, including ABC, NBC, FOX and HBO and worked as a commentator on National Public Radio's Morning Edition for four years.
When the Fox News Channel launched in 1996, Crowley joined the network as a political and international affairs analyst.
Her insight and intelligent analysis on the day's newsearned Crowley a large following of fans and In 2002, Monica began hosting “The Monica Crowley Show.” on WABC Radio in New York.
In 2005, Monica joined MSNBC as a political analyst, and co-host of "Connected: Coast To Coast." The daily program featured Monica along with Presidential son Ron Reagan.

In March 2006, Monica signed a deal with the Westwood One Radio network to take her show national. The Monica Crowley Show now airs on major market stations across the country including: WABC-AM New York, WTKK-FM Boston and WTNT-AM Washington DC.
Monica holds two Masters degrees and a Ph.D. in international affairs from Columbia University and worked as a Foreign Policy Assistant to former President Richard Nixon from 1990 until his death in 1994. Crowley's experience with Nixon prompted her to write two best-selling books, Nixon off the Record: His Candid Commentary on People and Politics and Nixon in Winter.
Visit the links on the left to read more about Monica's books on
She has also written for The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and The New York Post.

This $50 Continental Currency note (from 1778) was designed by Francis Hopkinson. The unfinished pyramid design was a precursor to the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States.

Monday, January 20, 2014

True Greatness (recycled)

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Some people feel like a small pebble lost in the immensity of a canyon. But no matter how insignificant we judge ourselves to be, we can be greatly used by God.
In a sermon early in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. quoted Jesus’ words from Mark 10 about servanthood. Then he said, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. . . . You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
When Jesus’ disciples quarreled about who would get the places of honor in heaven, He told them: “Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).
I wonder about us. Is that our understanding of greatness? Are we gladly serving, doing tasks that may be unnoticed? Is the purpose of our serving to please our Lord rather than to gain applause? If we are willing to be a servant, our lives will point to the One who is truly great.
No service in itself is small,
None great, though earth it fill;
But that is small that seeks its own,
And great that does God’s will. —Anon.
Little things done in Christ’s name are great things.

He Has Overcome the World by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.
"None of these things move me" (Acts20:24).
We read in the book of Samuel that the moment that David was crowned at Hebron, "All the Philistines came up to seek David." And the moment we get anything from the Lord worth contending for, then the devil comes to seek us.
When the enemy meets us at the threshold of any great work for God, let us accept it as "a token of salvation," and claim double blessing, victory, and power. Power is developed by resistance. The cannon carries twice as far because the exploding power has to find its way through resistance. The way electricity is produced in the powerhouse yonder is by the sharp friction of the revolving wheels. And so we shall find some day that even Satan has been one of God's agencies of blessing. --Days of Heaven upon Earth
A hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head winds right for royal sails.
Tribulation is the way to triumph. The valley-way opens into the highway. Tribulation's imprint is on all great things. Crowns are cast in crucibles. Chains of character that wind about the feet of God are forged in earthly flames. No man is greatest victor till he has trodden the winepress of woe. With seams of anguish deep in His brow, the "Man of Sorrows" said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation"--but after this sob comes the psalm of promise, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." The footprints are traceable everywhere. Bloodmarks stain the steps that lead to thrones. Sears are the price of scepters. Our crowns will be wrested from the giants we conquer. Grief has always been the lot of greatness. It is an open secret.
"The mark of rank in nature.
Is capacity for pain;
And the anguish of the singer
Makes the sweetest of the strain."
Tribulation has always marked the trail of the true reformer. It is the story of Paul, Luther, Savonarola, Knox, Wesley, and all the rest of the mighty army. They came through great tribulation to their place of power.
Every great book has been written with the author's blood. "These are they that have come out of great tribulation." Who was the peerless poet of the Greeks? Homer. But that illustrious singer was blind. Who wrote the fadeless dream of "Pilgrim's Progress"? A prince in royal purple upon a couch of ease? Nay! The trailing splendor of that vision gilded the dingy walls of old Bedford jail while John Bunyan, a princely prisoner, a glorious genius, made a faithful transcript of the scene.
Great is the facile conqueror;
Yet haply, he, who, wounded sore,
Breathless, all covered o'er with blood and sweat,
Sinks fainting, but fighting evermore
Is greater yet.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Spurgeon's Morning by Morning
September 1

"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." --Psalm 73:24

The Psalmist felt his need of divine guidance. He had just been discovering the foolishness of his own heart, and lest he should be constantly led astray by it, he resolved that God's counsel should henceforth guide him. A sense of our own folly is a great step towards being wise, when it leads us to rely on the wisdom of the Lord. The blind man leans on his friend's arm and reaches home in safety, and so would we give ourselves up implicitly to divine guidance, nothing doubting; assured that though we cannot see, it is always safe to trust the All-seeing God. "Thou shalt," is a blessed expression of confidence. He was sure that the Lord would not decline the condescending task. There is a word for thee, O believer; rest thou in it. Be assured that thy God will be thy counsellor and friend; He shall guide thee; He will direct all thy ways. In His written Word thou hast this assurance in part fulfilled, for holy Scripture is His counsel to thee. Happy are we to have God's Word always to guide us! What were the mariner without his compass? And what were the Christian without the Bible? This is the unerring chart, the map in which every shoal is described, and all the channels from the quicksands of destruction to the haven of salvation mapped and marked by one who knows all the way. Blessed be Thou, O God, that we may trust Thee to guide us now, and guide us even to the end! After this guidance through life, the Psalmist anticipates a divine reception at last--"and afterward receive me to glory." What a thought for thee, believer! God Himself will receive thee to glory--thee! Wandering, erring, straying, yet He will bring thee safe at last to glory! This is thy portion; live on it this day, and if perplexities should surround thee, go in the strength of this text straight to the throne.

Courtesy of E-Word Today and
Classic Bible Commentaries
Copyright © 2004-2013

Spurgeon's Evening by Evening
September 1

"Trust in Him at all times." --Psalm 62:8 

Faith is as much the rule of temporal as of spiritual life; we ought to have faith in God for our earthly affairs as well as for our heavenly business. It is only as we learn to trust in God for the supply of all our daily need that we shall live above the world. We are not to be idle, thatwould show we did not trust in God, who worketh hitherto, but in the devil, who is the father of idleness. We are not to be imprudent or rash; that were to trust chance, and not the living God, who is a God of economy and order. Acting in all prudence and uprightness, we are to rely simply and entirely upon the Lord at all times. 

Let me commend to you a life of trust in God in temporal things. Trusting in God, you will not be compelled to mourn because you have used sinful means to grow rich. Serve God with integrity, and if you achieve no success, at least no sin will lie upon your conscience. Trusting God, you will not be guilty of self-contradiction. He who trusts in craft, sails this way to-day, and that way the next, like a vessel tossed about by the fickle wind; but he that trusteth in the Lord is like a vessel propelled by steam, she cuts through the waves, defies the wind, and makes one bright silvery straightforward track to her destined haven. Be you a man with living principles within; never bow to the varying customs of worldly wisdom. Walk in your path of integrity with steadfast steps, and show that you are invincibly strong in the strength which confidence in God alone can confer. Thus you will be delivered from carking care, you will not be troubled with evil tidings, your heart will be fixed, trusting in the Lord. How pleasant to float along the stream of providence! There is no more blessed way of living than a life of dependence upon a covenant-keeping God. We have no care, for He careth for us; we have no troubles, because we cast our burdens upon the Lord.

The super yacht, Luna, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, sailed by Martinez yesterday. (8-31-13) She passed us going upriver at the mothball fleet and again going downriver off of  Benicia. (Michael Medved actually solicited listeners to cite aspects of his own radio show as evidence of a sinister conspiracy. I responded by citing the suffix of his phone number... before ever seeing Nabokov's / Kubrick's "Lolita". A few weeks ago, I was passed on I-680 northbound by a large, silver Mercedes Benz sporting a license plate emblazoned with "MEDVED 1". Coincidence? Sure. Mr. Medved absolutely ridicules conspiracy theories, and contemptuously derides public figures like Alan Keyes and Ron Paul who advocate rigid adherence to clear Constitutional principles rather than being blown around in the winds of aimless and easily manipulated public opinion.Methinks thou dost protest too much.) We were out in our 1991 Wellcraft Eclipse 186 on a shakedown cruise after a major overhaul precipitated by a spun connecting rod bearing.

Acquisition of Sibneft, aluminium wars, and loans-for-shares  [edit source | editbeta]

In 1995, Abramovich and Berezovsky acquired a controlling interest in the giant Soviet oil company Sibneft. Affiliates of Abramovich, with affiliates of Boris Berezovsky, purchased Russian oil company Sibneft for US$100.3 million (the company was worth US$2.7 billion at that time). Sibneft produces around US$3 billion worth of oil annually.[20] Abramovich established several fly-by-night firms and together with his friend Boris Berezovsky used them to acquire the stock of Sibneft. As a result, the tycoon managed to pay for the company 25 times less than the market price.[20] Bought for a total of US$200 million, Sibneft is now worth seventy five times as much.[21]
The Times claimed that he was assisted by Badri Patarkatsishvili.[22] This acquisition was under the controversial loans-for-shares programme initiated by then President Boris Yeltsin.[23][24][25] AfterSibneft, Abramovich's next target was the aluminium industry. After privatisation the 'aluminium wars' led to murders of smelting plant managers, metals traders and journalists as groups battled for control of the industry. Abramovich famously emerged winner in the aluminium wars.[22] The Times stated that in a BBC investigation into Abramovich's wealth, reporter John Sweeney noted that, after the oligarch (Abramovich) emerged at the top of the trade, the murders stopped.[26]

Yachts  [edit source | editbeta]

Abramovich has become the world's greatest spender on luxury yachts, and had been linked to five yachts in what the media have called "Abramovich's Navy":[73]
  • Eclipse 162.5 metres (533 ft) – ultramodern design by Hermidas Atabeyki. Similar to Pelorus with even more aggressive lines and a tri-colour scheme, also with an interior by Terrence Disdale.[74]Built in Germany by Blohm + Voss, she was floated out in September 2009.[75] Abramovich was due to take delivery of the yacht in December 2009,[76] which was delayed for almost a year after sea trials. She is believed to have cost Abramovich around US$400 million, and was at delivery the world's largest privately owned yacht, having been eclipsed in 2013 by the 180 m (590 ft) Azzam. The specification includes at least two swimming pools, a cinema, two helicopter landing-pads, several on-board tenders and a submarine. She has been reported to have an "anti-paparazzi" photo-shield system installed.[75]
  • "Motor Yacht Luna" 115 metres (377 ft) – Delivered to Roman Abramovich, the world's largest expedition yacht.[77]
The world's largest expedition yacht, Luna, is seen docked in San Diego.
  • "Titan" 78 metres (256 ft) – built by Abeking & Rasmussen in 2010 with both exterior as well as interior design created by Reymond & Langton Design.
[78] Former boats:
  • Pelorus 115 metres (377 ft) – Built in 2003 by Lurssen for another client who received six offers to sell her before she was even completed, in 2004 he accepted Abramovich's bid. The contemporary interior was designed by Terence Disdale. Pelorus was refitted by Blohm + Voss in 2005 adding a new forward helipad and zero speed stabilizers. She was partially refitted once again by Blohm + Voss in 2007–2008. Most often found cruising the Western Mediterranean, Abramovich annually took her to the Caribbean to celebrate New Year's Eve in St Bart's. Given to Irina in 2009 as part of the divorce settlement, she was approached on David Geffen's behalf by broker Merle Wood, with Geffen paying US$300 million to take ownership in 2011.[79]
  • Le Grand Bleu 112 metres (367 ft) expedition yacht) – formerly owned by John McCaw, Abramovich bought her in 2002 and had her completely refitted including a 16 ft (4.9 m) swim platform and sports dock. He presented her to his associate and friend Eugene Shvidler in June 2006
  • Ecstasea 85 metres (279 ft) – Largest Feadship built to date. She has a gas turbine alongside the conventional diesels which gives her high cruising speed. Abramovich sold the boat to an unnamed buyer in 2009.[80]