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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wednesday Bible Study- the Fold- again



This week was another verse that was really difficult to figure out what we were to draw from this.  But in the end, it was so like the last few studies we've done- I just had to step back far enough.  Let me share with you first our verse- 1 Chronicles 3:16:


 And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, and Zedekiah his son. 

Not much to work with, eh?  Right smack dab in the middle of a genealogy.  But not just any genealogy- it is the path from David and Solomon through the Kings of Judah and into and out of the Exile in Babylon.  So let me give you a picture of what is happening here.

The previous verse gives you the four sons of Josiah, the last faithful King of Judah.  They were, as listed:  Johanan the first-born, Jehoiakim the second, Zedekiah the third, Shallum the fourth.  And when Josiah died, according to the Scriptures, the nobles of Judah picked the youngest son, Shallum, to be King; and they changed his name to Jehoahaz.  This name means, "Seized by God", and indeed that's just what happened.  You see, Josiah died in battle with Pharaoh Necho of Egypt- a battle Necho warned Josiah that God didn't want him to fight.  So when the nobles looked at the choices- perhaps Johanan was killed in battle, I have no idea but he was not considered- they saw that Eliakim (which was Jehoiakim's original name) was already a burgeoning dirtbag (more on that later) and passed by him and Mattaniah (Zedekiah's original name), and went to the youngest.  Necho didn't approve of the appointment (since he didn't make it) and he returned to Jerusalem, appointed Eliakim- changing his name to reflect his subservience- and took Jehoahaz to Egypt where he died a prisoner.

So that brings in Jehoiakim, who the Jewish sources spare no words in painting as a dirtbag.

...he was a godless tyrant, committing the most atrocious sins and crimes. He lived in incestuous relations with his mother, daughter-in-law, and stepmother, and was in the habit of murdering men, whose wives he then violated and whose property he seized. His garments were of "sha'aṭneẓ," ( mixed wool and linen, which was prohibited by the Law of Moses) and in order to hide the fact that he was a Jew, he had made himself an epispasm (Think, "reverse circumcision") by means of an operation, and had tattooed his body* (Lev. R. xix. 6; Tan., Lek Leka, end; Midr. Aggadat Bereshit xlviii.; see also Sanh. 103b). He even boasted of his godlessness, saying, "My predecessors, Manasseh and Amon, did not know how they could make God most angry. But I speak openly; all that God gives us is light, and this we no longer need, since we have a kind of gold that shines just like the light; furthermore, God has given this gold to mankind [Ps. cxv. 16] and is not able to take it back again" (Sanh. l.c.).

*That tattoo was described as an idol, perhaps with the word "Heaven" over it.

Now the Jews had a discussion of how every King who was described in Scripture as "did evil in the sight of the Lord" were forbidden heaven, with the exception of those, apparently, who were saved by the worth of their sons or their own late-in-life repentance.  In discussing how Jehoiakim didn't make this list somehow, the Jews said that they did not know.  This will lead to another fascinating bunny trail in a bit.  Jehoiakim is the King in Jeremiah who takes the scroll of Jeremiah's prophecy and cuts it up line by line and throws it in the fire; therefore, he is prophesied the "death of a donkey"- his body cast over the walls of the city when the armies of Moab, Ammon, and others take him down at Nebuchadnezzar's request.  Keeping in mind this prophecy, and the casting of the scroll into the fire, let me share then the final fate of Jehoiakim, according to the Jews:

Even this shameful death, however, was not to be the end of the dead king, upon whose skull were scratched the words, "This and one more." After many centuries the skull was found by a scholar before the gates of Jerusalem; he piously buried it, but as often as he tried to cover it the earth refused to hold it. He then concluded that it was the skull of Jehoiakim, for whom Jeremiah had prophesied such an end (Jer. xxii. 18); and as he did not know what to do with it, he wrapped it in a cloth and hid it in a closet. After a time his wife found it and showed it to a neighbor, who said: "Your husband had another wife before you whom he can not forget, and therefore he keeps her skull." Thereupon the wife threw it into the fire, and when her husband returned he knew what the enigmatical words "this and one more" meant (Sanh. 82a, 104a). 


Though I could not find evidence in the timeline, I saw at least one source that Jehoiakim had executed the prophet Isaiah.  He had brought up the apostasy of Menasseh in his bragging- but forgot to mention Menasseh repented after being imprisoned in Babylon by the Assyrian King Esarhaddon for a time.  Which brings up another interesting tidbit I found in the Sanhedrin:


These are also the proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.1  Now, would Hezekiah king of Judah have taught the Torah to the whole world, yet not to his own son Manasseh? But all the pains he spent upon him, and all the labours he lavished upon him did not bring him back to the right path, save suffering alone, as it is written, And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people: but they would not hearken unto him. Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.2  And it is further written, And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And prayed unto him, and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem unto his kingdom, and Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.3  Thus thou learnest how precious is suffering.'

I had been spending some time wondering the very question that was first asked there- is this the lesson- why it is that the best fathers (Hezekiah and Josiah) brought forth the worst monsters as sons?  But I read this passage and understood that each man's choice of path is his own, and despite the Rabbis' debating of whether the son's virtue saves the father, this wasn't our point.


So with Jehoiakim dead, it was Babylon who picked the next man up, which was the son Jehoiachin- also known as Jeconiah.  Jeconiah wasn't going to be long either.


Jehoiachin was made king in place of his father by Nebuchadnezzar; but the latter had hardly returned to Babylon when some one said to him, "A dog brings forth no good progeny," whereupon he recognized that it was poor policy to have Jehoiachin for king (Lev. R. xix. 6; Seder 'Olam R. xxv.).


A curious thing happens next.  You see, Jehoiachin/Jeconiah is no better than his father- and Jeremiah cursed his father with a curse that will become key to where we are going...

Jer 22:30  Thus says the LORD: "Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days, for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah." 

But it seems that at the end of things, Jeconiah had one somewhat noble deed left- and it led to a miraculous response.  From my main source in this post, the Jewish Encyclopedia:

 In Daphne, near Antiochia, Nebuchadnezzar received the Great Sanhedrin, to whom he announced that he would not destroy the Temple if the king were delivered up to him. When the king heard this resolution of Nebuchadnezzar he went upon the roof of the Temple, and, turning to heaven, held up the Temple keys, saying: "As you no longer consider us worthy to be your ministers, take the keys that you have entrusted to us until now." Then a miracle happened; for a fiery hand appeared and took the keys, or, as others say, the keys remained suspended in the air where the king had thrown them.

And then Nebuchadnezzar did what I'm guessing was the ultimate insult.  After removing Jeconiah to Babylon in chains, he bypasses the natural succession- which would have went to Jeconiah's brother Zedekiah- and went back to the sons of Josiah, taking a third son, Mattaniah, and naming HIM Zedekiah.  Zedekiah would prove not only to be a dirtbag, but a stupid dirtbag.  He joined in rebellion against Babylon, which fulfilled then the prophecies of Jeremiah by bringing Jerusalem to the worst siege conditions possible- the dregs of their judgment being drained- and eventually falling.  Zedekiah and sons tried to sneak out in the confusion- much as Jehoiakim apparently had in another verse- and for his troubles got to watch his sons executed before his own eyes were put out.  

And while he would die in chains, Nebuchadnezzar's successor would look kindly on Jeconiah and release him and treat him as a noble in Babylon.  He would go on to father Shelatiel, who would be the father of Zerubabbel the governor, who would be one of the "burning lamps" with which God re-lit the faith of the returning exiles, and be the common McGuffin in both Joseph's kingly line and Mary's blood line to Jesus.  If you look at Matthew's genealogy of Jesus, you will see all of these- with the exception of the evil Jehoiakim, who according to Jeremiah's prophecy, Matthew left off his list.


And that is when it hit me.  One of the commentators had mentioned that the 1 Chronicles genealogy had followed the straight succession of the kings- until it hit Josiah, who God considered the last King.  All the rest were appointed either by foreign rulers, or in Jehoahaz's case, illegally.  So instead of continuing a kingly genealogy, after Josiah it became a genealogy just like all the others, with many sons listed, and including daughters and Leviritic matchups.

Just like our last few 3:16s had been a hinge place for the stories surrounding it, so was this- the fold-point between the old Kingdom and the new Israel awaiting a Messiah.  At that point, Israel is drug to exile in Babylon.  And just as the old Israel was born in it's release from exile in Egypt, the New Israel would be born from this exile in Babylon.  So it's not just a fold point.  It's a birth point- and a death point.


And now, in our day, we have seen the birth point of another Israel- after a much longer exile (because of a much deeper rejection of God), we have a new iteration of Israel- but not necessarily a DIFFERENT Israel.  The Book of Revelation tells us that there will be one more death-birth cycle for Israel- the last one.  And the only question, the one we are watching unfold, is how shall she listen to her Prophets THIS time?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Third Ten

So long ago I'd almost forgot about it, I did a version of Newspage Go, that involved the ten smallest nations in the world, and a week or so later, the second ten.  You can find the second ten here if you must; there's a link to the smallest ten on that page.  And today, I thought, "Hey, why not go to the third ten?"  So I looked up my trusty size comparing and population sites, figured out who comes next, and away we go today, from #30 to # 21...

Cape Verde

Size: 1,557 Square Miles (Bigger than Rhode Island, yet smaller than Fort Bliss in New Mexico and Texas)

Population: 552 K (or thousand if you're ambitious)

News:  As you remember, the rule here is first story on first legit news site.  And we have a nice one here.  Seems that President Jorge Carlos Fonseca has vetoed a bill that sought to set standards and rules for essential public services, as there was one proviso he's been advised won't pass the Supreme Court's review.  And what, pray tell, would that be?

The document states that although the President of the Republic agrees with the inclusion of solid urban waste management services in the list of essential services, he had serious doubts as to the constitutional conformity of the standard of that legislative act, which states that non-payment of management services of solid urban waste is a reason for suspending the provision of any other essential public service, ie suspension of water supply, electricity or fixed telephone service.

So, if I get this right, if you fail to pay your sewer bill, it gives the utilities an excuse to turn off any other of your utilities as well.  That seems pretty poopy to me, and apparently to Fonseca as well.


Samoa

Size:  1,089 sq. mi. (Roughly 110 times the size of Tuvalu, which was on the first post.)

Pop: 198 K (Not quite 2 South Bends)

News:  Samoa Airways is likely to get the bum's rush on their request to have landing fees waived, according to Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang.  It is not given how much Samoa Airways is trying to get out of, but Papali'i (Samoan for PayPal) says:

Papali’i was unable to pinpoint how much the Samoa Airways landing fees, but made it clear that “other airlines are paying their fees and so should Samoa Airways”.

However, they are not hard-headed about it; they are looking into greatly reducing the fee, adopting a commonly used "incentive plan" for new carriers (which Samoa Airways technically is after a re-organization in 2017, though under one name or another it has been around since 1959).

The catch?  Yep, Samoa Airways is government run.  So yes, that would be the government telling itself to pay up.

Luxembourg

Size: 998 sq mi (You could cram 36 1/2 of 'em in Indiana.)

Pop: 590 K (Somewhere shy of Milwaukee)

News:  So I had to sign up for a free account with the Luxembourg Times, come up with a password I'll never use again ("G00dgrief"), click the link e-mailed to me, and sign in all over again, just to read a story about how a big Luxi fund manager bought a little fund manager run by some Swedish bank.  Hey, have you met Liechtenstein?

Mauritius

Size:  780 sq mi (Twice Indy)

Pop: 1, 267 K (Stick Ft Wayne inside San Jose...)

News:  "22 May, 2018: The Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms will launch the Public Service Excellence Award (PSEA) Edition 2017 in June 2018. The theme for this eleventh edition is "Fostering creativity and innovation to better respond to citizens’ needs". 

The PSEA aims at recognising organisational excellence and rewards Ministries/Departments or Divisions/Units that have adopted innovative and environmentally-friendly means to deal with daily challenges. It also promotes a performance-based, responsive, customer-focused and accountable public service."

I think we get the picture of their civil service when the "Edition 2017" new award is awarded in June of 2018.  Pretty creative and innovative.


Comoros 

Size:  719 sq mi (6 1/2 Ft Waynes)

Pop: 830 K  (close to Indy)

News:  The last two Presidents of the island nation have been arrested in an investigation of corruption.  A delightful scheme to help poor people stuck in Arab nations like the Emirates who have no "official citizenship" by selling them Comoros visas started in 2008 SOMEhow managed to lose "at least $100 million".  I know I've run across this story before- in fact, I had to case the first two lists to make sure I hadn't done them before- these "stateless ones" (the equivalent of our "illegal immigrants" are called Bidoon...

No, Bob, not BA-doon...
...and once they would have gotten Comoran citizenship, they could have gotten better jobs in Kuwait and the Emirates.  Kind of like how California gives drivers licences and voter registrations to illegal Mexicans, and just about as intelligent and successful.


Sao Tome and Principe

Size: 372 sq mi (just over half the size of Allen County)

Pop:  208 K  (Fort Wayne in the summer)

News: Apparently there is a big to-do going on over the electoral system.  Involving the company that made the software not changing passwords and therefore allowing certain government groups the ability to play around with them if they so chose, an independent consultant was brought in.  His report said that TECHNICALLY there was no fraud detected.  The head of the election board modified that to,  "It was made clear that there was never an Electoral Commission fraud or intention to prepare the massive fraud as we had heard in our country".  Which, the writer astutely noted, is two different things.  He tried to point that out on what passes for mainstream media there (which I never quite found), but says, "The media present, gathered opinions from the participants, but, as is already the case, TVS simply and surgically CENSURED the essence of the interview that was granted to me."

Kiribati

Size: 313 sq mi (About 3 "Newies", Jo-Anne)

Pop: 118 K (Evansville)

News:  A ferry sank with all hands back in January- 80+ deaths- and what passes for government there is still playing pass the buck on what happened.  More to the point, what didn't?  The rules that the boat was to be audited on were "not in place," so the auditor could not audit them last year(?); the boat was overloaded with copra; the crew got drunk the night before, and the captain hit a shoal he should have known was there prior to leaving port.  The parliament is fighting over how many members get the chance to take it out on the other guy as they debate blame, and the investigating commission asked for more time at the beginning of the month.  I think Columbo might have wrapped this one up in time to play about 45 extra commercials.


Bahrain

Size:  295 sq mi ( about NYC)

Pop: about 1.6 million  (Good enough for the lead so far on this post)

News:  Bahrain seems to be in a bit of a housing crunch.  The big news today was that the Crown Prince had met with several high muck-a-mucks to get the ball rolling on the next "allocation" of 5,000 housing units.  Since the King set a goal of 25,000 units by this year back in 2016, as far as I can figure, there are 15,000 built, another 15,000 already in process- but the Crown Prince had to up his game as the King jumped the goal to 40,000.  A lot of digging later, I found out how it works:

Under the programme, eligible applicants making between BD600 ($1590) and BD1200 ($3180) monthly can obtain mortgages with repayments capped at 25% of their income. The state then finances the difference between the borrower’s monthly payment and the amount required by the lender. Under the programme, applicants can purchase a housing unit approved by the MoH or from an accredited developer.

So not a bad deal, I guess.  Maybe they should invite some Bidoon over...


Dominica

Size:  290 sq mi (half a million hockey rinks)

Pop: 74 K (A full house at a Carolina Panthers game)

News:  Somebody ran off the road...



Several people were hospitalized.  Developing story...


Tonga  

Size: 277 sq mi (You could put 3 1/2 of them into the Ponderosa and have plenty of room left for Hoss)

Pop: 108 K (just one South Bend)

News:  "A 54-year-old man of Asian origin was arrested by police on Tuesday, May 15 at Fua’amotu International Airport after attempting to smuggle $100,000 out of Tonga in different currencies. 

Police today said the accused was released on bail on Wednesday, May 16 to appear at the Fasi Magistrate’s Court.

In the meantime, he has been charged with failing to declare that he was taking more than the required amount of $10,000 pa’anga, ($4319) as he was intending to fly out of Tonga.

The cash was taped onto his body and included cash of USD$50,000, AUD$10,000, Tongan cash and other currencies."

Y'know, if you'd have just bought that "Tourist's wallet"...

Monday, May 21, 2018

School shootings

So today as I was failing to take a nap, I was listening to Jay Sekulow (for those not in the loop, America's biggest lawyer on the subject of defending rights of faith) talking to guests and callers about the recent school shootings.  He was making a fair point- if these things happen even with gun control laws and with items other than guns, then the 'solution' is to make our schools "hard targets" with metal detectors and beefed up security.  Which I suppose will help short term- and I am being a skeptic here for a reason- but one must remember the old saying:  "When man makes a better mousetrap, nature makes a better mouse."

For example, limited access facilities- herd kids through one entrance/exit or a limited number of them, so all can be checked for weapons.  So what then happens when a prospective shooter makes himself a 'nest' near one of those points of entry- instead of going in- and guns them in the crowd?  In 1966, 17 were killed from a tower.  What then happens if they come in with plasticized explosives to beat the metal detectors at the doors?  Or are we going to ban tall buildings in rifle range of a school? (good luck with that, Manhattan)  Oh, how about we just surround the schools with walls a la the border fence?

How much education will kids get in a prison?

My point not being something is right, something else is wrong.  But in a world where we are constantly finding ways to overcome the best defense, what good does it do?  First you had nutbags injecting Tylenol capsules with poison.  So we safety sealed everything.  Then it was anthrax letters, until the average nutbag discovered that it wasn't terribly effective as far as body counts.  Then it was Saren gas; then it was fertilizer truck bombs; then it was flying planes into buildings.  Each time we tried our best to secure the weak spot, and evil found a way around it.

This weekend, a father gathered his family in a restaurant, and once they were all seated, he drove his vehicle into the wall behind which they sat, killing his daughter and injuring others.  So lock down the school.  Then watch the nutbag du jour invite everyone to a party at say, the mall, and blow them away there.  Or even more creative- dump poison into the water supply.  Or the air ducts.  Legionnaire's disease proved how effective that is.


So I went looking for data on school shootings- and found it is a tricky task.  What is your definition of a school "mass shooting?"  Can you get reliable data seeing's as the Government in the '90s forbade the CDC from collecting data on gun deaths?  Amazingly, the best source- and God have mercy on my soul for using them- is Mother Jones.  They have a school shootings database which goes back to 1982.  So I began working with their numbers.  I decided that the best way to see a trend was to take a year by year average of how many average shootings a year.  And I found something pretty chilling.

The first 9 years, 1982-90, it stayed pretty flat in the 0.5- 1.0 shootings range.  Then, after a 2-year mild step up, it shot to 1.5 per in '93; and through '98, that became the approximate new normal.

Then came 1999, and Columbine.  the five incidents that year sent the average to 1.72- but from there it did a slow drift back down.  In 2002, MJ listed no incidents; by 2004, it was back to pre- Columbine levels.

And then, boom.  the last four years of the GW Bush presidency, it shot up to 1.74, the highest ever.  Obama's first term, it went up another .29; at the end of his presidency it had climbed another .4, and had spent the entire term climbing through the 2s to 2.43 in his last year.

Not blaming Obama.  The first year of Trump's presidency, it climbed another .24, and extrapolating for a full year 2018 would give us 3 more incidents yet this year and a whopping 2.81 average- nearly double what it was at that low spot in 2004.


What happened?  This is my speculation, in an area impossible to prove.  So from here, just hear me out and make your own decision.

In 2004, San Francisco legalized same-sex marriage, and shortly thereafter Massachusetts joined in.  I know, I know, but again, hear me out.  God has consistently warned repercussions on nations that reject him.  What are the main ways of rejecting him as a nation?  Well, for one would be idolatry.  Do we have idolatry?  When I was a kid, the minimum pay for a major league baseball player was $67,500; it is now 8 times that.  Throw in Entertainment tonight, the National Inquirer, TMZ, the Academy Awards, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and you tell me.  Sacrificing to idols?  Ask 50 million aborted babies since Roe V Wade.  Failure to obey God's word?  How about driving out prayer in public, starting with schools?  And making a nation an abomination in God's eyes.  Was Same-sex marriage the last straw for God with the USA?

Consider this.  According to wikipedia, and here I myself am guilty a bit in manipulating data, from 1900 until the banning of prayer in schools in 1962, there were 17 school shootings that involved more than one death- and seven of those were 1900-1909.  So that gives you 10 such incidents in a tetch over 50 years.  From the prayer ruling to Roe V Wade, there were SEVEN shootings in 9 years- which takes us from 0.18 shootings a year for the previous 53 years to 0.77- a four-fold increase- in those nine years.  Then, from Roe V Wade to 1982 (When Mother Jones kicks in), we add another 5 in those nine years.  So, from 1900 to school prayer, we averaged 0.27 incidents a year; by Roe V Wade, we were at .32; by 1982, we are at .35; and when you combine these wiki numbers with Mother Jones, we would have been at .6 in 2004, and we are now at .88 since 1900.




When this latest shooting took place, I told Laurie, " Once you kick God from the school, what's to stop the demons from pouring in?"  But the school shootings are just a symptom.  When the school prayer decision hit, you made a decision that would be a slow ripple through a generation.  2004 was one generation from the school prayer verdict.  We are just past a generation from Roe V Wade.  Society has been fundamentally changed, and merely undoing what we did wouldn't be enough by half to fix things.  Ask Josiah of Judah.  He dedicated his life to rebuilding his nation's place with God; it took three months before his sons had cast it all away.

Yes, I'm a skeptic.  And that is because God promised Israel a remnant.  He made no such promise to George Washington.

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."
- George Washington



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Message- "Religious experts"



The problem with today's religious experts is that they are "religious", but not experts.  This week, what should have been a joyous occasion- the dedication of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem- was marred by evil in every direction.  Most of which you can find on mainstream media- and if you do a little digging, you can get past that and make an informed judgment.  I'll leave that to you and your own sense of what's right and wrong.  What I want to address specifically is how several "religious experts" attacked one aspect of this story- that President Trump made the wise selection of Pastor Robert Jeffress to dedicate the building.  Jeffress is a man I have listened to many times and respect for his no-holds-barred preaching of what is actually in the Word of God.  Now, I am going to bring in two experts- and later, a third- and show you why "religious expert" is an oxymoron.

Robert Jeffress says “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,“ and “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.”  He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.- Mitt Romney.

A clergyman (or clergy-woman) is expected to be a servant of the Most High God, delivering messages of love, tolerance and peace.  Yesterday’s dedication of the American embassy in Jerusalem, an historic event in our historic capital city, was tainted by the presence of a Baptist preacher, a man who hates all non-Christians, who delivered the opening prayer.- Esor Ben-Sorek, retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. 

Mitt Romney speaks from the perspective of Mormonism.  The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints tries to pass as a Christian church, but it is nothing of the kind.  In the early 1800's, Joseph Smith claimed to have a visit from an angel who dictated to him the Book of Mormon from Golden tablets that no one has ever seen again.  Now, I am not going to waste time refuting Mormonism.  Paul destroyed it in one blow 1,800 years before it began:

Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.


Revelation to the Church ceased with the Apostles.  That is why they (not the Pope) are the rock upon which Christ built the Church.  It, therefore by the words of Paul- whom Peter himself said is as inspired as Scripture- a "heresy from the pit of hell."  Strike one, Mitt.  And the same goes for Islam- and again, not trying to spend a lot of time on refutation. BUT, where we believe that God showed the only way to erase the sin in man and make him righteous was for His Own Son to die and take the punishment for those sins Himself, Islam believes that at the last second, God did the "ol' bait and switch"- took Jesus off the cross and into heaven, and put in a stand-in (maybe Barabbas), who couldn't POSSIBLY have been an acceptable sacrifice.  If you believe in God at all and think that's feasible, I cannot help you.  Strike two, Mitt.

And "you can't be saved by being a Jew"?  That is dead on as well.  Hear it from John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest of men born to women:


Matt 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

One thing I have learned from my recent Bible studies is the Jewish concept of being made righteous by just being a Jew.  But it doesn't work that way.  600,000 corpses littered the Sinai in Moses' time because being a Jew isn't enough.  Two Temples have been levelled because it isn't enough.  And Jesus died because it isn't enough.  Now perhaps Mitt, reading his agenda into things, thought Jeffress was saying Jews can't go to heaven.  But even if he did, he's still wrong.  Strike three, Mitt... you are out.


Now, to Mr.  Ben-Sorek.  First, "delivering messages of love, tolerance, and peace".  Is that how YOU define a preacher of the Most High God?  Name one in your OWN Scriptures who did that.  Let me name one in the New Testament who did not- Jesus:

Matt 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Mr. Ben-Sorek, I think I know which kind of preacher you want.  Maybe like this one:

2 Tim 4:4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 


Sounds like perhaps you- and many around you- have "wandered off into myths" on this one.  Strike one.

"...a man who hates all non-Christians..."  Let me do a parable of my own for this one.  There were two men standing at the side of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago.  One man said, "I am going to cross the highway on foot."  The other said, "No, you mustn't do that; you will be killed."  The first said, "Oh, you just hate me.  You want to tie me down to your concept of the world.  I believe any man can cross the 14 lanes of packed 80 MPH traffic if he is sincere in his belief."  So the man came out onto the highway, and was soon splattered across a windshield like a big dumb bug.  A third man then comes up and says to the one that's left, "It's a shame that you ruined his last minutes with your hate."   He who has ears, let him hear.  Strike two, Ben-Sorek.


"...was tainted by the presence of a Baptist preacher..."  Funny how tolerance is such a one-way street.  Strike three.


Now, I am going to attempt to give you the base problem here, by bringing in our third "expert"- the Pope.  Here is a quote from him that I found  in trying to REFUTE that he said it...


There are those who believe they can maintain a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations. 


"The mediation of the church?"  Meaning that you are not allowed to think for yourselves; it is dangerous for you to, say, go to the Son of God who died for you, without doing it through the church fathers and the Pope and the priest.   Or Mary, or some saint, or any of the million other layers that the Catholic Church thinks must be put between you and Christ.  But what did Jesus say?

John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? 

Does that really sound like someone who wants you to go through the hierarchies of man to come to Him?  THINK ABOUT IT.

Unfortunately, they are the voices being held up as "religious experts" by those who have not given in to the "dangerous and harmful temptation" of surrendering their life to their Savior.  They are the ones who are leading the world down the merry road to the Antichrist, while naming believers as "religious bigots".  Do not be fooled, not even by me.  LOOK into it for yourselves.  You have a mind, and a soul designed to seek the truth if not so weighed down by "heresies from the pit of hell."  Put some logical thought together:

- If God made the world, would He not give you the "instruction manual?"
-If He COULD make the world, don't you think He'd be able to get that Word to you down through the years, despite the best efforts of man and demon?
-If the first two are right, don't you think you should pick it up and read it on your own?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Happy Boofus Day 2018

Thursday starts with a trip to Shoaff Park...








"What's Mommy looking at?"

"Oh, a frog..."



Into the ravine


"You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around..."

Mr Brilliant spent a solid minute sniffing this hole, then immediately stepped right in it and fell.



Tried to catch Laurie snoozing... I think she stuck her tongue out right after.

Then to Culvers for ice cream!
"C'mon, hurry up..."



A cup of ice cream, two cups to lick out, several pieces of bacon, a chunk of onion, a pickle, an entire tomato slice...

"Thanks, that was good!"

And just for fun, Laurie actually gets a cardinal to pose...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VILII48751864



Today, we land in May 18th, 1965- two days after my third birthday. and the day Cities Petroleum Services...



...became Citgo!


Through a spokesman, the Oklahoma-based oil producer (later acquired as a subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela) announced that "The distance from which the new CITGO emblem and color scheme can be seen is twice that of the previous green and white Cities Service signs and stations." Stanley D. Breitweiser went onto say that the name had been chosen from "more than 80,000 possible choices" generated by a computer programmed to create new five-letter words that began with "C", and that the logo, colors and name had been developed with the assistance of the design firm of Lippincott and Marguiles, and explained that "Its first portion, CIT, is derived from Cities Service. GO implies the company's power, energy and progressive nature."


You needed a computer program to come up with Citgo?  Wow, Exxon must have fasted for forty days to get their name...


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Anyway, we have a lot of stuff this week, including those dreaded words on the M10- "The Old Order Changeth!"  Plus a big feature, and the Beatles doing the Panel picks!  Let's gas and go!

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That dreaded phrase indicates we have FOUR new M10 songs!  The first act is quite familiar- they just had Light A Candle at the top a while back!  Here's new Ducktails at #10....





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Okay, boys, let's get this done quick and easy, we have 23 contestants off 63 stations this week...

Ringo:  Who's this bloke talkin' to?

George:  Us, I believe...

Paul:  Well, he'd best get a bit of a grip on his giblets...

John: "Grip on his giblets"?  Please tell me you aren't trying to fit THAT into a tune...

Sorry, guys, bit stressed here.  Please welcome the Fab Four to the Musical Tardis for a spin through the list of...

P: Yeah, we got it, let's move on.  Let's have the list.

R:  All righty!  I get the first three.  The Supremos were at #13 in the States with Back In My Arms Again...

Barbara Lewis gets a jump on things- a vote for Baby I'm Yours, when it's two weeks from a national debut...

Glen Yarborough of the Limeliters is at #14 with Baby The Rain Must Fall.  Who wants to go...

J:  Here, give me that rubbish, you simpleton.  Sounds Orchestral- hmm, sounds orchestral, doesn't it?  They are at #9 with Cast Your Fate To The Wind.

P:  I rather fancied Shelby Flint on that one...



J:  Does that EVEN matter, Paul?  Gary Lewis and the Playboys were at #3 with Count Me In; and Elvis Presley...


"Yeah?"
You were at #16 with Crying In The Chapel...  Here, you pick up the next three.

Now, WAIT a minute...

E:  Here, move over, son.  Wayne Fontana- inn't he that joker with the crazy hair- he and the Mindbenders have The Game Of Love at #7...

The Beach Boys are at #8 with Help Me Rhonda...

An' Patti Page is at #73, debuting, with Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.  Here, fellas, I'll be in the buffet with Patti...

P:  Owl roight, let me have a go.  The Four Tops are at.. mmm... number 74 with I Can't Help Meself...

R, singing: Sugar pie, honey bunch..

P: Yes, that'll be good, Richard.  The first of the list that was on the British charts this week- at #26- the Seekers with I'll Never Find Another You at #4.

And, I have the bloody Beau Brummels at #25 with Just A Little.  George?

G;  Yes, let me see... Good heavens, Cannibal and the Headhunters- ghastly name- with Land of 1,000 Dances at #49.

Then comes... what is this?

Oh, yeah.  Cookie and the Cupcakes were on our list somehow with a vote for Mathlida- a song that charted at #47 in 1959!!!!  Missed the memo winner this week.

You could have just whispered it in my ear...

NOT gonna happen.

Well, that means I get another song.  So I have Herman's Hermits at # 1 with Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter...

J:  Bunch of poseurs...

G: ...and the Byrds at #76 with Mr Tambourine Man.  Ringo?

R:  Why not? I 'ave Chad Allen and the Guess Who with Shakin' All Over at #50...

The 'Ermits again with Silhouettes at #5...

And We Ourselves with the Classic all time tune Ticket To Ride at #2.  And now, the simpleton...

J:  You do know you weren't our FIRST drummer, correct?  Anyway, Ticket To Ride was also #2 back home this week.  Ever had THAT happen before, mate?

I don't think so...

J:  Anyway, then we have Peter and Gordon- outstanding chaps...

R:  You'd think so...

J:  AHEM, Peter and Gordon with True Love Ways, #4 in England, #23 here.

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs with Woolly Bully at #10...

And lastly, The bleedin' Hermits again, with Wonderful World, not even on the charts yet in the States, and #11 in Britain.  And that is it!

Well, thanks for popping in to do the list guys!  So this week we had what started to be a romp- then two songs came literally out of nowhere to get back in the battle.  So let me give you the top five to choose from- Crying In The Chapel, Ticket To Ride, Mrs Brown, Woolly Bully, and Help Me Rhonda.

J:  I do hope Presley wins this week- it would be a dreary chore to do this twice in two weeks...

John, I couldn't agree more.

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Debut #2 marks the return of an act that hasn't been on the M10 since November of 2015!  With a tune from the new lp Goodbye Sunshine, Hello Nighttime, here's Family Of The Year at #8...





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Our 6D victim was Marvin Gaye's I'll Be Doggone at #11.  This tune was co-written by Smokey Robinson, which got me to looking into his other comps- and let me tell you, it only added more accolades to a Hall of Famer.  So this week, here are the songs written or co-written by Smokey that went top ten for OTHER artists:

11- Tracks Of My Tears, Johnny Rivers.  Now this list is going by Billboard peak with ties broken by MusicVF points.  Johnny had the highest charting hit of a song that's great no matter who does it- he hit #10 in '67.  I'll still like Linda Ronstadt's cover the best, and Smokey's original second.

10- More Love, Kim Carnes.  She did her cover of Smokey's original in 1980, also hitting #10.

9- You Beat Me To The Punch, Mary Wells.  Several of these were songs he gave to others, and Mary had three of them.  This one was a #9 in '62.

8- TIE, even with the MVF points!  And they are both by Marvin Gaye- our 6D vic I'll Be Doggone, and Ain't That Peculiar, which both hit #8 in 1964-5.

6-  Two Lovers, Mary Wells.  This time, she hit #7 in 1962.

5- Ooh Baby Baby, Linda Ronstadt.  Linda's tasty cover hit #7 in '78.

4- Get Ready, Rare Earth.  My pick o' the littler, this pseudo-live smash hit #4 in '70.

3- Shop Around, Captain and Tennille.  In the midst of their unbeatable streak, the dynamic duo took it to #4 in '76.

2- My Girl, Temptations.  The top two both came out the same year (1964), both hit #1, both had a title with the same first word, and the same first letter to the second word.  Which means the winner is...



...the gorgeous Mary Wells and My Guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Debut #3 is from an act that also hasn't been around in a while- he had one week at #10 back in April '16!  The song at #7 is Cullen Omori...







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Stat Pack time!

I knew 41 this week.  One of them was not the #65 in '65, Gene Pitney's Last Chance To Turn Around.  But it is widely acclaimed to be one of his best, and I had to agree it was a great tune.

At #101- did somebody say Buck Owens?  He was there with I Want No One But You.

Now for a little Roger Miller irony.  See, while he topped the British chart with King Of The Road this week, he was also the big mover here, going 28 spots from #61 to #33 with Engine Engine # 9.


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And now, the remaining M10.

Not My Baby holds on for a 9th week, falling from #4 to 9 for Alvvays.

The Knocks have charted with five different vocalists on the M10- Matthew Kona on I Wish, Walk The Moon on Saving The Best For Last, Absofacto on Trouble, POWERS on Classic, and now Foster The People on Ride Or Die, which moves from 9 to 6.

Gilbert O'Sullivan charges up 5 to #5 with Where Did You Go To.  You can already see the punch line when this one starts to drop, right?

Oh, I did say there was four debuts, right?  The fourth comes in at #4- and it sets up back-to-backs for illuminati hotties...





And that means that Paying Off The Happiness descends from #1 to 3 this week.

Plus, with Eleanor Friedberger stalled at #2 with Make Me A Song, that means our new #1 belongs to...




...Caroline Rose and Jeannie Becomes A Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



And your Panel pick this week?  If you took the Beach Boys, you only got 7.9%...

If you took Elvis, sorry, only got 11.1%...

If you took The Beatles or Sam the Sham, you hit the two "almost but not quites" at 19%...

But you got the win with 22.2% if you took...



...Herman's Hermits with Mrs Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Be back next time, God willing, for 1966!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Zoo 2018




It was a great mix:  School trips with kids of every age- and construction.






Quotable #1:  "Daddy, the deers!"  Uh, no, sweetie, that's a lynx...


"Yeah, for pity's sake, kid..."









Quotable #2:  "Mommy, a gorilla..."





"Pickles?  I'm a pelican, not a stork..."






Guess what?  The lions were actually conscious and in sight for a change!




"Ah, who cares?  They sleep, they roar..."






"Yeah, and I can consume you in two bites and a burp, honey badger..."







Quotable #3 (this one an adult):  Oh, wait, that's a monkey, not a skunk..."



Or, as Laurie called it the "African Monkey-skunk."  Barkley and his "turtle rat" got nothing on us!






"Yukk, I tasted her hand..."




Quotable #4:  First kid:  "Ostrich!  Hey, ostrich!"

Second kid:  "He's NOT going to answer; he doesn't speak.... whatever YOU'RE speaking..."




I just thought that was a neat shot...

"Thankfully, you got my good side..."











"Hey, wait for me!  I hadda use the tree, y'know..."








First darn fish picture I ever got to turn out...

"ROAR!  I'm a lion, you brats! ROAR!"



Quotable #5:  "It's a horse!  Look, it's a...cow!"





Laurie pointed out that he was posing dignified for me...

"Whaddya expect? NBC?"



Oh, and my new gizmo!  Push a button, and...





WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!