Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Aginst The Random Thoughts Tuesday Sked

I'm not a cat person.  But I have cats.
I've noticed that cats (at least the ones that infest my house) only verbalize (MEE-OWW) when speaking down to the lower species (Humans).
Amongst themselves, nary a word. They are either telepathic felines or experts at the non-verbs. Points are made and argued with a look or a movement. And sometimes they go from friends to enemy combatants in a millisecond (but what is time to a cat, right?).
Those pictured above are internet cats, not the ones that live here.
***********
A friend @work hit me with a query that I hadn't heard before-was I growing a "Novembeard"?
I guess so. Found that it is a thing, similar to a "Deer camp beard".
I just get tired of shaving every once in a while and so yes, right now I am bearded.
************
Young boy: Dad, can we turn up the heat? I'm cold.
Dad: Go stand in the corner.
Young boy: Why should I stand in the corner?
Dad: Because that corner...is 90 degrees.
**************
I am invited to Thanksgiving with friends which I have heard called both "Friendsgiving"
and "Orphan dinner" for those who don't have family near. I am also blest to have Second Thanksgiving on Saturday.
May You have a fine Thanksgiving(s) too.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Saving Silverman Part D




“We have to see them as human,” Silverman said, “and hopefully maybe they will see us as human.” When the protesters told her she was going to hell, she replied, “I can’t! I don’t believe in God.”

The 'them' that Silverman was referring to in this quote are "Anti-abortion" protestors.
I see her as very human. A weak, fallible human, just as I am.
I doubt that she actually doesn't believe in God-that is more of her schtick, her public persona-she often makes outrageous statements just to garner a reaction ala Ann Coulter.
But, as you might imagine, the 'don't believe in God' part is what caught my attention.
I'm sure that you've heard it said that teenagers think that they are both indestructible and immortal-that they live and act as if they are going to live forever.
Here is part of the Grace of God-those teens impervious to both time and danger eventually grow older, wiser and come to recognize that our time on this planet is limited.
Many young people who reject the idea of God through His Grace live long enough to learn better.
I think that Sarah Silverman is a bright young woman who, thirty years from now, might very well believe in God as her youth fades and she comes face to face with her own mortality.
I hope so. I don't want to see her or anyone else end up in hell.
Every question in Life is theological.

 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Did The Atheist Cross The Road?

Why Did The Atheist Cross The Road?
"Beats me. Just lost, I guess."
As if we didn't have enough turmoil circumnavigating the planet, now there is contention rearing its ugly about the new moving picture of an old, old story.
"Exodus-Gods and Kings", from Ridley Scott is the furor-maker.
Some are crying "Racism", which may or may not be the case. Doubt I'll ever have an opinion on that, as I don't plan on seeing this film.
Why not?
Same reason I avoid most efforts of atheists and agnostics who attempt to 'Go Biblical'.
It's never good.
Maybe a contrary example would help make my point:
If some film-maker who politically resides to the right of Rush Limbaugh decided to put out
a Barack Obama biographic movie, one might assume that it would not be embraced by Liberals.
So when an agnostic such as Ridley Scott decides to work his creative majic on the story of Moses, it's a no go for me.
Supposedly Scott is also preparing a film on the life of King David. Why?
Does atheist Penn Jillette steer far away from God?
Nope-writes mocking books, cracks (un)wise in his act, has podcasted tirades/screeds/been rather impolite towards Christianity. You'd think that he might be happier IGNORING God. But He seems to bug him.
I have stuff that I don't like, but I don't obsess over it, investing emotional capital in hating. I'd rather be happy.
I enjoy some of Scott's other work, and Christian Bale is a fine actor...but nah. Not interested in their 'vision' of Exodus. Didn't see 'Noah' either.
Or "The Passion of the Christ".
Are their good Biblical movies? There may be-but none of those will be made by  non-believers.
Actually, I wouldn't mind if no-one made Biblical films aside from those used for evangelism,
those which sincerely share the Gospel.
"The Jesus Film" from 1979 has been such a film, and there may be others.
 But not from Hollywood. Not from Ridley Scott.





Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Patter

Not Paterfamilias-just patter. Slouncing around amongst the interwebs lately, seeing the talking heads Byrneing down strawmen and straw houses, I've noticed a pattern in the patter.
Con men and con (fidence) ladies have their story, no matter how ridiculous, down pat.
Whether they are fully convinced themselves in the narrate they perpetrate...can't tell. The best liars sound so convincing that the easily gulled are quickly lulled into going along with the tale that, if it sounds too true to be good, must be dis-proven rather than proven.
I recall a bookseller in a high class, hoity toity Book Emporium-the kind of place that low rent Barnes and Noble attempts to emulate-who had perfect delivery of his sales pitch, which ended with his gently placing a book in my hands.
No sale. But he was good.
I bring up politics {forgive, please!} only as a passing (failing) example. Not all sides can possibly be right about any issue. But the patter excreted in the real world of the internets and the realer world outside---somebody is wrong, someone right. Some of those who are wrong KNOW that they are wrong, but only some. And verse vici on the other side-there are those who know they are right and others who only hope they are right.
Cut the patter. If you are sure about things, go beyond the bumperstuck mentality and dig into why you are sure, what evidence convinced you at first, and if, years later, you still find it true.
Be honest with yourself and examine what grounds you, what you have built your life on.
I'm talking to Christians, too. Brothers and sister in Christ who have the Christian patter down, know the right verbiage for every situ...but haven't dug into their theology to see if it can can pass a stress test. Or four. Or four hundred.
Live beyond patter.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Until That Day

Yes, November 11th is Veterans Day.
As I've noted before, I'm a peacetime veteran. I never saw battle, but plenty of our fellow Americans have, and it is their day, 11-11-14.
Someday...there will be no more veterans.

"2    Now it will come about that     In the last days     The mountain of the house of the LORD     Will be established as the chief of the mountains,     And will be raised above the hills;     And all the nations will stream to it.
3    And many peoples will come and say,     “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,     To the house of the God of Jacob;     That He may teach us concerning His ways     And that we may walk in His paths.”     For the law will go forth from Zion     And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4    And He will judge between the nations,     And will render decisions for many peoples;     And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.     Nation will not lift up sword against nation,     And never again will they learn war."

Isaiah 2:2-4

Until that Day, there will be wars, there will be need of soldiers and sailors and pilots, and there will be Veterans. Until that Day. Honor those who serve, honor those who have served, and may God Bless our Veterans, on the 11th and every other day.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

A God By Any Other Name

Once upon a time, Paul was used by God to perform a miracle, the healing of a man lame from birth.
11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us.” 
12And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 
13The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 
14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out 
15and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 
16“In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 
17and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 
18Even saying these things, with difficulty they restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them. Acts 14:11-18

It mattered to Paul and Barnabas that their works were being attributed to pagan gods.
Here the inhabitants of Lystra had to be restrained from offering sacrifices to their gods in honor of Paul and Barnabas.

A few chapters further along in Acts Paul is in Athens:
"22So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 
23“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you."
Acts 17:22-23

Paul did not say, "Men of Athens, Zeus, whom you worship is just another name for the true God that I worship. A name is just a name, am I right?"
No-he found an inscription "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD" and used it as an opener to preach the Gospel.

Bottom line: God is Who He Is, and He has the first and last word:
"2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3“You shall have no other gods before Me.
4“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 
5“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 
6but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments."
Exodus 20:2-6


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Other Voices, Not In My Head

I don't often point to other blogs, link up with like mindeds, etc.
But here is a link to a fine post by R. Hudson L.:

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/11/05/the_mandate_republicans_were_elected_to_stop_barack_obama_not_to_work_with_him

I recall the 2004 election when John Kerry lost-in his concession speech he said of President Bush, "If he wants to get things done, he will have to work with us." (Not word for word-it's been a long time.)

Last night Harry Reid allegedly stated:
"The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together," Reid said. "I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class."

Oh, so that's what you say when you lose an election! All of a sudden, the light above Capitol Hill goes on:
"Cooperation. Working together across party lines."

As proof that I am myself willing to work with Democrats, I will let President Obama have the last word. Note-this is from a year ago, but he really did say this:
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-to-gop-go-out-there-and-win-an-election-if-you-want-to-stop-health-care-law

See you on the other side, Rhodes.


Whatever Comes

I am grateful to God for everything in my life, including the struggles that have taught me what I have needed to learn and the great blessings which have made me appreciate God all the more.
Blessings always outweigh and outnumber struggles, at least for those who know God and are known by Him. But both are part of the packet issued when we are brought into God's family.
The Psalms are a source of great comfort for us-wisdom from God, life examples from those who have also been issued the same packet.
Most Psalms, I've heard it said, begin with a cry to God for help and end with a shout of Joy as He delivers His people.
Most.
But Life is not all rescues and victories on this side of Eternity, sometimes there is no triumphant shout of Joy.
Which is why Psalm 88 sticks with me.

1    O Lord, the God of my salvation,     I have cried out by day and in the night before You.
2    Let my prayer come before You;     Incline Your ear to my cry!
3    For my soul has had enough troubles,     And my life has drawn near to Sheol.
4    I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit;     I have become like a man without strength,
5    Forsaken among the dead,     Like the slain who lie in the grave,     Whom You remember no more,     And they are cut off from Your hand.
6    You have put me in the lowest pit,     In dark places, in the depths.
7    Your wrath has rested upon me,     And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah.
  8    You have removed my acquaintances far from me;     You have made me an object of loathing to them;     I am shut up and cannot go out.
9    My eye has wasted away because of affliction;     I have called upon You every day, O LORD;     I have spread out my hands to You.
10    Will You perform wonders for the dead?     Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah.
  11    Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave,     Your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12    Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness?     And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13    But I, O LORD, have cried out to You for help,     And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
14    O LORD, why do You reject my soul?     Why do You hide Your face from me?
15    I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on;     I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome.
16    Your burning anger has passed over me;     Your terrors have destroyed me.
17    They have surrounded me like water all day long;     They have encompassed me altogether.
18    You have removed lover and friend far from me;     My acquaintances are in darkness.




Saturday, November 01, 2014

The RACE To Election Night





Just a few more days, and the political ads will stop, the robo-calls will be shelved for 18 months, and the world will begin turning again. Oh, right-keeps turning no matter what. Thank God.
I have successfully ignored 86% of the political ...um...effluence this season; my apathy shields are holding strong at 94%.
But I do admit to mild interest in the outcome of the election. I would love for the Repubs to win enough elections to frustrate President Obama's plans for his final two years in office.
That would be good, though I doubt that the Republicans will find the intestinal fortitude to DO anything.
I think that they will simply wait out the lame duck Presidency, as anything they do to oppose President Obama will be shouted up as Racism...just like the last six years.
Mary Landrieu is already readying the excuse canons, stating that “The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.”
Did you get that? Racism is alive and well in the South, and it's President Obama's skin color, not his policies or politics that matter.
Believe me or don't, but I would just as outraged by the policies and politics of the Obama Presidency if it were instead the Biden or Hil Clinton Presidency.
Landrieu sees RACE. That is her Racism.
I judge Obama by the content of his character, which I find lacking in humility with an overabundance of ego.
Alfred Bester once wrote of a dangerous man who was a possible world changer-that man's success or failure in an endeavor would tilt civilization one way or the other.
But that is fiction, and President Obama may believe that he has such power, but in reality,
he's just a man. 
7    “He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous;     But with kings on the throne     He has seated them forever, and they are exalted.
8    “And if they are bound in fetters,     And are caught in the cords of affliction,
9    Then He declares to them their work     And their transgressions, that they have magnified themselves.
10    “He opens their ear to instruction,     And commands that they return from evil.
11    “If they hear and serve Him,     They will end their days in prosperity     And their years in pleasures.
12    “But if they do not hear, they shall perish by the sword     And they will die without knowledge.
13    “But the godless in heart lay up anger;     They do not cry for help when He binds them." Job 36:7-13

He declares to them their work and their transgressions, that they have magnified themselves.
That is everything but his name. 
Forgive me, please, for pointing out that 'readying the excuse canons' was a shallow attempt at cleverness, not a typo. Canon, as in strongly held belief. Excuse, as in...well, see Democrat.
 





Saturday, October 25, 2014

Okay, Fine- A Political Post

Sharpen your tongues, peoples. I am about to dip my toe into the cesspool of America:
Politics/Election 2014.
It's a good thing that the Bible states that my (self) righteousness is as filthy rags (compared to the righteousness of Christ) because I wouldn't want to wear fine clothings for this expedition.  Filthy rags for a filthy job. I'm going to need two showers later.
First let me echo the wisdom of Rush Hudson...Limbaugh in case you missed it on his program or website:
A protest vote against the Democrats doesn't mean that the country is embracing Conservatism.
It may be a landslide against Democrats in 11 days, but that might have more to do with the Obama administration making worse the lives of voters.
If you could tally as Republican every vote of someone who:
     Lost their healthcare insurance.
     Kept their insurance but saw premiums skyrocket and coverage shrink.
     Lost their job due to the bad economy.
     Saw their taxes increase.
You would probably see a Democrats buried in a landslide of protest votes.
But.
It would be a mistake to think that the country is becoming more conservative. People don't change their opinions so easily, and any opinion quickly changed may change back on a whim.
I'm more sanguine than melancholic, and face each difficulty, if not with a smile, at least with the courage that comes from having already come through so many fires/earthquakes/tsunamis/elections.
The only GOOD government will occur when Christ rules the world from Jerusalem. Until then...we make do with that we have. I will be voting the straight Republican ticket not because I have great love for the GOP. Mine is a protest vote against the other side.
One 'caveat lector': I am notoriously wrong about elections; I assumed that President Obama had no chance of winning, and doubled down by stating that he would be a one term President.
So I may have egg on my embarrassed face 12 days from now.
Luckily, I have learned to take my lumps as I do my successes: with a smile.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Future Of The Franchise

Watching football the other night and some kid got hurt; as they were carting him off the field the announcer said something like, "There goes the future of the franchise."
This got me to thinking about the pro life span:
Kid with talent becomes
Rookie pheenom becomes
Solid craftsman becomes
Valuable player becomes
Seasoned veteran becomes
Former pro becomes
Forgotten.
This got me thinking about being a Christian-no surprise, right?
Right up front I admit that most Christians, in this country, at least, have never risen to the level of solid craftsman.
We mess up a lot, and squabble amongst ourselves more than is healthy. We fail more often than succeed.
BUT.
It's not about us.
The Future of our Franchise is Jesus Christ.
I'm certain that one Day, God will 'catch us up' to Heaven.
Later, when we return to Earth with Christ, He will conquer the World while we watch.
He will do it all, and He will never be forgotten.
 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Simply Put...



The current wisdom coming from the alleged Leaders of our country doesn't seem very wise.
Ebola is the current CRISIS (Remember, kids-you can't spell CRISIS without ISIS!) first because the continent of Africa is a mess of conflicting nations who won't work together, and second because their inability to fight Ebola before it reached epidemic levels now threatens the rest of the world. Their mess has now landed on our doorstoop.
Here's some of MY current wisdom:
Those politicians running for re-election LOVE to talk about Ebola right now so as to not have to answer for the rest of their Ebola-like mess of failed governance, weeks before the election.
Reporter: Sir, the continued problems with Obamaca
Politician: EBOLAEBOLAEBOLAEBOLAEBOLA
Second reporter: Sir, ISIL or ISIS has been
Second Politician:  EBOLAEBOLAEBOLAEBOLAEBOLAEB
One failed incumbent (who does not have an 'R' or 'I' after his name) has as his slogan "This is not the time for nation building overseas!"
Which we aren't doing, and which no one argues about...but which sounds like 'leadership' in a sound byte.
Ebola is indeed a horrible disease, and is now a crisis.
Don't look to our political Leaders for any solutions...or wisdom.
So...where IS wisdom? How do we learn and grow more capable of understanding/making sense of a senseless world?
You know my answer.





Thursday, October 16, 2014

Progress To The...Egress? Yes!

Just yesterday I mentioned to someone as we were walking that 37 years ago this month I was in boot camp, such a puny little guy that as my platoon was marching, I had to run around them as a satellite, the idea being that I needed more exercise to get strong.
Picture above is from a few months after boot camp; I can tell because I lost the beard in my second year when I went to Culinary school.
No beard to beard to no beard, reddish blond hair to gray hair to less hair, and I'm no longer a little guy.  Like Missouri below Iowa...that's an understatement.
Never have had a broken bone, no hospital stays or much reason to grumble-physically I have been blessed with good health.
Though some would argue, mentally, emotionally I'm doing fine also.
But
I'm a double nickle guy, and, as Don McLean sang in "The Driedel"-we all slow down.
I recognize that I may suffer health issues common to my heritage as an aging human bean.
I see my older friends getting weaker, walking slower, saying more goodbyes than hellos...
but here's the thing.
We who belong to God know that we never walk alone-God is with us every moment, every mile. Whatever comes, and I mean Whatever...Praise God from Who all blessing flow.



Friday, October 10, 2014

Overview From Under

I think it might be good to post an overview-no fine details-of what has happened and what will happen.
God Created.
Sin came, corrupting Creation.
Satan foments sin.
God has a plan to redeem the corrupt Creation.
Jesus, God Himself, pays the price for sin, working Redemption.
God reaches down and redeems many.
God judges the world. Satan is imprisoned.
Jesus returns, rules the world.
After a time, Satan is loosed to face final judgement.
Lake of fire for Satan, his angels and all who are not redeemed by God.
World/Creation is purified by fire,
New Heaven and new earth.
Eternity.