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


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wednesday Bible Study: Satan's four-step plan

I have been in a quandary how to approach our next verse, James 3:16, until Sunday morning I saw this on FB:

And I really think this is the point that James is trying to make here.  Let me give you our verse, with a little context:

Jas 3:13  Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 
Jas 3:14  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 
Jas 3:15  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 
Jas 3:16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 
Jas 3:17  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 

Now, you might not immediately see the connection, but if I flip over to my handy KJV+ for the original words, we'll get my drift.  In fact, I actually did a "loose translation" myself, to help me see what was going on, and it ran like this:

"Reason being, at whichever spot (you find) hot, fervent emotion and provocation, thither (also) instability and all foul affairs."

So this verse is a "where you find one, you'll find the other" construction.  I know, thanks Captain Obvious, but the question is just what are the "ones" and the "others".  At the point where ESV puts jealousy, the literal translation would be, "zeal".  Scratching your head?  Well the word for each is the same Greek word, and the translation is a bit foggy;

properly heat, that is, (figuratively) “zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively of God], or an enemy, malice): - emulation, envy (-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal.

But if you scroll back to the context verse 14, you see James attach the word "bitter" to it.  So what we are talking about here is the negative version- in other words, zeal in a bad way, emotions without reason, as Sowell said so well. (See what I did there?)  Other versions use envy here, and I shamefully admit I had to look up "emulation":

"effort to match or surpass a person or achievement, typically by imitation."

Now that we have effectively described social media in this one verse, let me VERY cautiously bring in a note from Adam Clarke's commentary:

...fiery, inflammatory passion, and contention - altercations about the different points of the law, of no use for edification, such as those mentioned, Tit_3:9. The Jews were the most intolerant of all mankind; it was a maxim with them to kill those who would not conform to their law; and their salvation they believed to be impossible.

I think Clarke was a bit over the top, and indeed he uses that sentence to springboard into another of his anti-Catholic rants, but the point is valid:  The Judaizers were starting fights over their sanctimonious stand on keeping the OT Laws, and it got heated.  But heated doesn't always equal "right", and this was then the jealousy/emulation/zeal/envy that James was referencing.

So how do we go from "selfish ambition" to "provocation"?  Or, how about the other ways this word is translated (Feel free to raise your hand when I hit the one in your Bible)?  Contention; faction; the desire to get the better of others; rivalry; strife.  All of this coming from a word that if you just glance the surface you get the definition, "properly intrigue; that is, faction", but if you drill a bit deeper you get a source word which means to stimulate or provoke.  So, our "where you find one" side of the equation is basically, "Getting all hot and bothered and stirring things up."

Now, let's work on the "other" part.  Our first word is "disorder" by the ESV, while others may use "confusion" or "commotion", while I used instability.  Maybe even better was the JFB commentary, which uses the phrase "tumultuous anarchy".  If you drill down deep enough, you hit "absence of permanence".  I'm wondering why they didn't just use "chaos."

And that brings us to "vile practice"- easily broken into "foul deed or affair".  But is that the gist of it?  Vincent's word studies says, not quite...

An inadequate rendering, because it fails to bring out the particular phase of evil which is dominant in the word: worthlessness, good-for-nothingness...

Now, I semi-facetiously made mention of social media on the first two, and they fit right well; but you look at what it leads to in the "other" side of the equation, and it isn't quite so funny or tolerable anymore, is it?  But, if you scroll back up to the context verses, we see that it is what you get when you replace God's Wisdom with man's.  You go from calmness and meekness to hot angry emotion; from reasonable and persuasive to provocative and selfish; from stable to chaotic; and from good behavior to good-for-nothing behavior.  Note the third of the three descriptors of man's wisdom- demonic.  So what we have really witnessed here today is Satan's four-part plan for destroying mankind.


Before I close, I would like to not libel Adam Clarke without an explanation.  To us, the Catholic Church is the place down the street with the bells and the organ, and the nuns teaching school.  For Clarke, he saw the Catholic Church as "Bloody Mary", Queen of England about 200 years previous, who "besides multitudes who suffered by fine, imprisonment, confiscation, etc., two hundred and seventy-seven were burnt alive, among whom were one archbishop, four bishops, twenty-one clergymen, eight lay gentlemen, eighty-four tradesmen, one hundred husbandmen, fifty-five women, and four children!"  in her ZEAL to destroy the Reformation in England.  Maybe it wasn't right, but it wasn't blind prejudice.  IT DOES teach us, though, again where Satan wants to head us with his plan, because both Mary's actions and Clarke's words fit the first side of our equation.

Monday, January 21, 2019

MWN: What isn't news #2

This post is a division of MWN

I haven't felt good today, I've amused myself by sleeping, watching war shows on American History, and debating a self proclaimed twitter nerd that thinks that my not wanting to see babies killed also means I want unwed mothers dumped by the wayside and condoms banned.  So not in a festive mood.  Which, despite my lowered energy levels means it's a perfect day to once again peruse the FoxNews page and point out to the world what is news and what is not.

Headline 1- House Judiciary Democrat: Kavanaugh 'likely' will be investigated for perjury

Just so everybody knows: Democrats, I am sick to death of you slowing things down every step of the way by making up charges that have no other purpose than delaying things.  Republicans, I will be just as sick of it when you do it.

Headline 2- Flight attendant accuses man of sexual harassment after disgusting demand

Without having read it- I'm sorry, but don't you think by now these idiots do it- or airlines publicize it- just to get attention?  Does not belong on a front page.

With reading it- I'm guessing somebody at the airline is saying, "We should have just banned him after the FIRST time...

(And no, I'm not gonna comment on the demand, because it was, well, disgusting.)

Headline 3- TODD STARNES: Where is the apology for wrongly maligned students?

Truth is, I wanted to just bring this up because I wanted to say something about the story.  Basically, Kentucky High Schoolers at the Right To Life March were minding their own business when a veteran radical left "Native American" troublemaker inserted himself into their group, backed up by some BLM-reject thugs, to do what he does best.  Media clips the video to match HIS story; others produce the FULL video which proves his (and their) claims are BS.  By this time, the usual listing of SJWs are threatening life and limb of the kids and their school (over 6,000 "loving and tolerant" tweeted threats registered).  The Governor of the State told all comers, "Just try something- we DEAL with crime in Kentucky."  The High School cowers in a corner, apologizing.  The media?  They give their usual full IDGAF to their fake news stories, and set up this miserable excuse for an Indian as a hero.  In other words, a news story, but shouldn't be.

Headline 4- Alyssa Milano has shocking new claim about the MAGA hat

Why is Alyssa Milano like a zit?  If you stop messing with her, she'll just go away unnoticed.  Not sure she even rates the entertainment page, but prolly better than Kathy Griffin, whom I see is farther down the page.

Headline 5- Ships catch fire in Black Sea killing at least 14, Russia says

C'mon, Chris, what's wrong with THAT one?  Nothing at all.  I just put it up to highlight the ones that were ABOVE it:

Pastor stunningly predicts Patriots-Chiefs score

WILD PHOTO: Horrified family finds huge python coiled in toilet

Man accidentally plays porn through speakers at girlfriend's sister's wedding

But yeah, Mr Editor, I can see where you would think a football game, a beloved family pet in the drink, and a guy who won't get an invite to the next wedding are more important than 14 lives...

Headline 6- For this one, let me bring in our good friend, Captain Obvious:

"Majority of guns used by criminals bought on black market, study shows"
Headline 7-  This one combines the KG reference with the Kentucky story...

Controversial anti-Trump comic calls for doxing student's identities after viral video at Native American march

Because it's more important these kids pay for the rest of their lives for something you idiots made up than to admit the truth...  BTW, another so-called comic said that the young man who went to the local TV station, begging them to tell the real story, should be "kicked in the balls."  Honestly, I'm not sure these people count as human beings, much less funny.

Now, here's funny:

Headline 8- Louisiana eye doctor offers free exams for NFL refs after Saints crushing loss

For anyone that missed this, the referee in question defended his not calling of pass interference on "suspecting that the pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage".  The pass was about 4 feet above the outstretched fingers of the nearest player on the line when it whistled over him.  The only way the excuse would be valid is if the ref were lying on the ground on his back at the time.  Were I the NFL's head of officiating, I'd MAKE that ref take the doc up on the offer.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sunday message: More than one way out

Saturday morning I was reading my new "project"- I am in my 3rd month of reading one of the 31 chapters of Proverbs every day- and I hit on a verse that really spoke to me.  Not just for what it said, but what I had just gone through, and the bigger message I found in it.

You see, Scrappy is proceeding down the "everything is falling apart" path, and lately the problem has been because of his water obsession, he spends his "bathroom time" licking up snow rather than TCOB.  As a result, he has been dealing with, well, problems that have necessitated me taking him out on walkabout after his breakfast to make sure he gets #2 done.  That morning we had success even as the snow fell all around us, and when we came in he went around licking up snowprints we brought in- and then had a tiny little accident.  One of a string of such incidents which is lowering quality-of-life for all involved.

The discussion has been had lately about Scrappy's future, and you can guess it is very emotional and I am very conflicted.  I know, not Sunday Message material here, but let me get to the Proverbs part.  You see, one of the great things about this book is that there will ALWAYS be something that speaks to you that you never noticed before, if you are faithful in praying and reading.  And Saturday, I read this verse:

Pro 19:18  Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death. 

Boom, anyone?  Now, I am not suggesting either that we are that close- though the day seems to be closing on me- or that this is God telling me not to do it.  In fact, Scrappy's situation is just a facet of what I see here.

What I get is, that in the course of trying to do things in our own strength, in applying our own wisdom to a situation, we often get fixated on the concept of "one solution"- that this is the only way out, because it's the only path I can see.

God sees more.  In fact, God can open up a range of HIS solutions to what is going on. But the key is giving it to God.  You might be looking at one facet of the entire problem, and God's solution makes you say, "But that doesn't do anything for my REAL problem"- when the problem is you aren't even recognizing the REAL problem. Or, you are just perception-limited in what God can do to resolve it.

But beware.  I have noticed that you can be "led" to think God is involved in a way He isn't- like I talked about in the "lesson and circumstance" post a few weeks ago- and Satan might be using it in a way to lead you to the false conclusions of, "God doesn't care, God is cruel, God is playing games."  When you hit that point, you know it's time to reject that path.

And before I get into a "big picture" analogy here, let me sum up the point.  Anytime you feel there's only one way out, consider this verse...

Pro 19:18  Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death. 

...For there is HOPE.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Time Machine co-ordinates VILXXVII52411774

Wow, dudes, as proud as I was of last week's show, this one is going to be a HUGE disaster!  I found absolutely nothing of note at target date January 17th, 1974 (excepting a pair of Norwegian deep-sea divers who died when their bathysphere rose too fast);  I haven't done a 6D because I thought I had an even better storyline- and I'm going to wear some BIG donkey ears when I tell THAT one; the Panel was another rout of epic proportions; and I FORGOT to do the label game, so we are going to try to do that LIVE (EEEK)!  If nothing else will make me humble, this debacle will!


So let's open with one of three new debuts- and the only one that was among the four I TRIED to get you all to guess at last week!  Form 2012's compilation titled after the hit Mr Blue Sky, here is ELO at #10:

Well, we can't be TOO bad off if we lead with ELO, can we?


Nor if we start the Panel Picks by introducing our POTM this week, Carly Simon!

How are you today?

A little cold... what's with the heat in here?

That is a very good question... NARDOLE!

N: Yes, sir? 

Could we like get the heat up to, say, room temp?

N:  It's aftereffects of the End Of Year Redundancy Transclaudication... we're still trying to synch up.

That's never caused the furnace to go out before...

N: Well, that's because you were never 13 months late paying the bill before...

Oh, fer the luvva... maybe you could get Ms Simon a jacket... and none of Harrison's or Elvis's stuff!

C:  It's all right... can we do the list?

Sure.  We have 20 contestants from 45 stations- and our winner took a third of 'em!  So I'll give you the onesie-twosie list (1 or 2 votes), and everyone... maybe that should be ANYone- left is in the final picks!

All right, let's start with the 2s... Charlie Pride's The Most Beautiful Girl was at #20 this week- and by the way, I'd just like to say I appreciate being in the Beauty Contest... 

You mighta won had I found that pic above before...

Aww... anyway, Brownsville Station was at #3 with Smoking In The Boys Room... Gotta love those bad boys!

N:  Here's a jacket, ma'am... I think it was Liberace's...

Oh, well THAT was appropriate...

Thank you, Noodle...

N:  That's Nardole, Ms Simon.  N-A-R...

That'll be all, noodle.  Go ahead, Carly.

Hmmm... Next with 2 votes is Terry Jacks and Seasons In The Sun, new on the chart at #76.

Al Wilson held the #2 slot with Show And Tell.

And Stevie Wonder was at #6 with Superstition.

Now comes the fun stuff- the one-vote wonders!

This first one is from the Netherlands- a fellow by the name of Gerard Cox.  His song you could name three ways.  You could call it by it's Dutch name- 'T Is Weer Voorbij, Die Mooie Zomer...

Well said!  At least, I think so...

...or by the English Translation- It's Over Again, That Beautiful Summer... or, you could just say, that Dutch song to the tune of City Of New Orleans, I guess...

Then we have Coven, two weeks into their second go-round on the charts with their version of One Tin Soldier, back at #87...

This one I'm afraid I don't know...

Oh, I do.  This is Canadian band Lighthouse- who had a hit here with One Fine Morning- and their beautiful follow-up, Pretty Lady.  It was a top ten in Canada (if I'm not mistaken), peaked at 53 here- and this week it was number one on KPOI, Honolulu, of all places...

Okay, then we have Perry Como who was #1 in Australia with his version of the country classic For The Good Times.

Grand Funk Railroad was at #17 with Walk Like A Man.

Love Unlimited Orchestra and Love's Theme was #9...

David Bowie was charting in the UK and at the top in South Africa with a song called Sorrow...

Having listened to this one, I don't get why they never released it here...

...and another Australian station had Sweet's Ballroom Blitz, which was 21 months from hitting here... boy, this time stuff can be handy!

Ringo Starr was at #4 with You're 16...

Olivia Newton-John was at #12 with Let Me Be There...

...and Wings were at #13 with Helen Wheels!  There you go!

Ah, but for such a beautiful guest, how about you do the finalists?

Aww, okay!  Choose from, Steve Miller's The Joker at #1...

Byron MacGregor's The Americans at #8...

Barbara Streisand with The Way We Were at #10...

And Jim Croce's Time In A Bottle at #5!

Okay, thank you very much!  There you guys go... the funny, the serious, and two songs about TIME!  Is that an omen?  Take your best shot!


Okay, before we try the LIVE Label Game, here's the next debut at #8, coming to you from 2014... this is Animal House...


And now, let me bring up the Cashbox top 100 for the year 1974...

So we start off with a new one right at the top, Rocky Road... then two for last time's winner Epic... then of course, Capitol and Columbia... hmm-de-hmmm...  then another each for the C-n-C guys... and another for Cap!  They're on fire!  Then a couple quick ones for MCA... and for A&M!  And MCA... and again!  There the first ones to qualify... and they have SIX already!  Capitol qualifies next, but it's gonna be hard to top the leader...  ABC is now on the board, but doesn't stand much of a chance...MCA starting to hit songs in the backstretch now, that might end up helping Capitol... and here's RCA-Victor qualified...  Now Columbia makes the board after wasting away its strong start... and MCA is now up to NINE...  Epic now does the same thing Columbia did... we have a Virgin at 75!  Apple finally gets on the list... A&M joins the party now, as does Atlantic...  From here on, they just hurt you, as Columbia and Capitol may have just found out...  Ohh, Clap For The Wolfman at 94 may have just sunk RCA Victor... Apple just got 88 AND 98...  A&M just swallowed 99... and we're done!  Time to calculate the results!

Atlantic had 5 for an average spot of 61.4...
A&M had 5 for 57.6...
Apple got 6 for 64.33...
Epic had 5 for 44.2- that's a little better...
Columbia had 5 for 44.6...
RCA-Victor got 6 for 37.16- new leader!
ABC had 5 for 41.4...
Capitol grabbed 7 for 38.4... just missed!
And MCA took 9 for 36.4!  the winner...

MCA!  Their ten songs were...

I Honestly Love You, Olivia Newton-John at 62;
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Sweet Home Alabama at 58;
Marvin Hamlisch's The Entertainer at #45;
ONJ again with If You Love Me at 31;
Cher's Dark Lady at 26;
ONJ #3 with Let Me Be There at 22;
(and here the disaster continues- I gave MCA credit for an MGM song at #15!  They still win, but the numbers have been changed above so you'll never know for sure won't have to worry about it...)
...and three from Sir Elton John- Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me at 51, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road at 21, and Benny And The Jets at #12!


All right, let me get to the sad story of my great adventure in disaster.  You might have noted last week that I said I wanted to know what the 45 was on the Beths' video.  I knew it was (obviously) a Kama Sutra release, but where I stopped the video was so darn blurry, I couldn't make out but vague outlines of act and song.  So, after about a half hour of reading Wiki, "the Kama Sutra/Buddah Records Story", and various other places, I finally came upon the KS complete discography- but it didn't help.  So I gave up, b/c I was just starting to write last week's post, and these things take long enough as it is.

Skip ahead to a couple of nights ago my time (Tuesday your time), and I thought, "Maybe I can stop it in a different place, and it will be clearer!"  So I stopped it in a different place, and it WAS clearer- or so I thought.

It said, "Ohio Express, Turn! Turn! Turn!".

I thought, well, this ought to be interesting, so I searched the song- and found nothing.  I searched some more, and more nothing.  Not only did the Ohio Express not record on KS but on Buddah, but they seemed never have had recorded it- and nobody that ever DID record it did it for Kama Sutra!  So I assumed it was a totally made up record and that was that.  Except it wasn't.

Wednesday I said to myself at work, "Kama Sutra and Buddah are owned by the SAME company.  See if we can find where it might have cross pollinated."  And when I got home, I did.  No luck- until I got to, where I saw on the discography for the Ohio Express that they listed a re-recording of the lp Yummy Yummy Yummy in 1994 on Kama Sutra!  But when I clicked the link- it was dead.  And nothing I did would find me that 1994 re-release.

Then I finally had the one brilliant idea on this entire journey of stupidity you haven't guessed at yet.  "Why not search Google images for 'Ohio Express on Kama Sutra Records'?"  And there I found this:

...a fuzzy picture of Ohio Express's big hit Yummy Yummy Yummy... and I said, "you don't suppose..."  And sure enough, I stopped the video in yet another spot and saw it plain as day-

"Yummy Yummy Yummy- Ohio Express".  A #4 hit in 1968 which I am well acquainted with.  And a song that I thought MIGHT be the culprit last week, but said, "Those aren't Ys, they are Ts- and that sure ain't an O on the artist."

God finds amazing ways to keep me humble.  Let's do the debut at #7- Liz Cooper and the Stampede:


Stat Pack, take me away!

The Stones grabbed the big mover with one of my favorites, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), moving 30 spots from 72 to 42.

BB King had the #74 in '74 with I Like To Live The Love.  A #6 soul song, it would peak at #28 and be his last time in the top 40- with the not-quite exception of his joining U2 for When Love Came To Town in 1989 (got #2 mainstream rock and 6 alt) and a sampling from his song How Blue Can You Get on the Primitive Radio Gods' 1996 #1 Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand (a seriously great song, despite the title, gives me chills).

#101 was (Benny) Latimore's Stormy Monday, which got no further despite cracking the top 30 R&B.

The UK charts were represented in the Panel Picks by For The Good Times (26), Living For The City (30), Sorrow (34), and Helen Wheels (41).  The numero uno Britannia was You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me (my theme song this show) by the New Seekers, which only registered a #18 on the AC charts here (AKA you might have heard it in the Doctor's waiting room...)


And that brings us to the remaining M10 songs...

We have 2 8-weekers in this week's show- the Beths with Future Me Hates Me falls from 4 to 9; still hanging in there is Anna Burch's 2 Cool 2 Care, slipping one to #4.

Papa Roach gets hung up at #6 for a second week with Not The Only One.

Charles Bradley moves into the top 5 with Luv Jones.

I have now heard Castlecomer twice on the radio- I heard The Noise at the gas station last week, and this (Thursday) morning I heard a out-of-range alt station playing last week's #1, She's So High!  They slip to 3 this week.

Roaring up from 10 to 2 is that group whom has an unexplainable hold on me- the Beths again, with You Wouldn't Like Me.

And that means our new top dog is the third #1 for...

...the Decemberists and Travelling On!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And your Panel winner?  Well, if you add MacGregor, Streisand, and Croce together, you only get 20%- so the winner with 33% is...

...Steve Miller and The Joker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, God willing, is a better 1975!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday Bible Study: to the 9s

So this week we have one of those verses whose meaning turns on something rather funny.  I'm first going to show you the verse, plus the ones before and after from the ESV to get context- and then show you another translation of our verse.

ESV: Heb 3:15  As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." 
Heb 3:16  For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 
Heb 3:17  And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 
Heb 3:18  And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 
Heb 3:19  So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. 

But now, let's look at the Modern KJV:

Heb 3:16  For some, when they had heard, did provoke; however, not all who came out of Egypt by Moses. 
Heb 3:17  But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? 

"OMG, it's one of those contradictions in the Bible!"  No, gentle reader, there isn't a REAL conflict here.  First, let me examine HOW we got to this point; then, the WHY of God letting it come about this way.

From the Adam Clarke commentary, here's why we have the battle between 'some' and 'all':

There is a various reading here, which consists merely in the different placing of an accent, and yet gives the whole passage a different turn: - τινες, from τις, who, if read with the accent on the epsilon, τινὲς, is the plural indefinite, and signifies some, as in our translation; if read with the accent on the iota, τίνες, it has an interrogative meaning; and, according to this, the whole clause, τίνες γαρ ακουσαντες παρεπικραναν ; But who were those hearers who did bitterly provoke? αλλ 'ου παντες οἱ εξελθοντες εξ Αιγυπτου δια Μωσεως ; Were they not all they who came out of the land of Egypt by Moses? Or, the whole clause may be read with one interrogation: But who were those hearers that did bitterly provoke, but all those who came out of Egypt by Moses? This mode of reading is followed by some editions, and by Chrysostom and Theodoret, and by several learned moderns. It is more likely that this is the true reading, as all that follows to the end of the 18th verse is a series of interrogations.

So for those of you that glazed over, it all depends upon where you put a simple accent mark.  It brings me to mind of this passage:

Mat 5:17  Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. 
Mat 5:18  For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. 

So then, what can we gather here?  One thing we know: 99.9999985% of those who left Egypt with Moses died in the desert, because they had SEEN the miracles wrought in Egypt, they had SEEN the Red Sea split in two, and even WHILE they heard God thundering to Moses on the mountain, they said, "Screw it, Moses is cooked, let's build a golden cow and go back to Egypt."

Anyone who wants to know why God picked the Jews to be His special people, look no further.  If He could do it with THESE guys, He could do it with anyone.  But the ones who turned on Him DIRECTLY by their unbelief weren't going to benefit by His choice.

Anyway, I mentioned a number: 99.9999985 %.  By any statistical reference, you can mark that as "essentially all".  How I came up with it was an estimate by Chuck Swindoll (who said that by the time you worked out women and kids might STILL be low-balling) for how many followed Moses out of Egypt- and the 3 people we KNOW for sure made the entire trip: Joshua, Caleb, and Aaron's son Eliezar.

So, in God's eyes, all the generation that defied Him perished in the desert, so you can 'put the accent on the iota'.  But for the nitpicky who say, 'Not so!', you can move it to the epsilon.  To me, this is not the Bible having an error; this is God covering ALL the bases.  So that no jot or tittle is overturned.  And in case you think I'm being foolish, consider how MINUTE, yet perfectly placed, an issue it is that gave us BOTH translations!  For me, considering this a grammatical accident is right up there with evolution and creation without God.  The chances against it would need me to use a LOT more 9s.

Monday, January 14, 2019

All kinda things...

Okay, so I thought I would do a few things today, starting serious, ending in fun.

First off, I have made a confession- I like to get the glory, more than I should.  That became painfully clear when a couple of Time Machine comments twisted my underoos.  One I handled well enough... the other I did not.  I had a long talk with God- basically me talking and Him letting me listen to myself so I could see what a dumbass I can be.  One thing I can never wrap my mind around properly is the disconnect between man's concept of self-esteem and God's concept of humility.  So, apologies all around, and hopefully I will do better henceforth.

Second, this past weekend "Lambo Pastor" John Gray confessed to considering suicide.  His confession- and following help by another oft-attacked pastor, TD Jakes- I think (and pray) might be a watershed moment for a preacher that I don't think was all the way connected to Christ before.  Here are some excerpts from the Christian Post article:

“The truth is some of the stuff that tried to kill me I helped. Nobody wants to shout. Everybody needs to know some stuff wasn’t the devil, some stuff was you. It would be great if we shout for that too because when you shout for that what you’re saying is I take personal responsibility,” he said.

“I wanted to call it quits. ‘Hey you sound like you need counseling,’” he said, mimicking criticism.

“You do too. You do too. And I have counselors,” he revealed. “And let me help you. Some stuff you can’t slap oil on your forehead and ask for it to go away. Some stuff you gon’ have to work out. Some stuff you gon’ have to walk out. And you gonna need some certified Christian counseling and some therapy.”

“The external trappings of success have given us rose-colored glasses to what we think will give us peace. But if money could give you peace, if cars and houses could give you peace, then wealthy people wouldn’t commit suicide. And people who are on TV wouldn’t be taking anti-depressants because fame and money and things do not give you peace,” he said.

He also talked about facing his insecurities and said his wife, Aventer, married a broken man.

“When you’re single and you can lie to yourself, it’s easy to love what you see. But when you live in community with another person, all of the masks begin to crumble. So now my wife is left with a picture of a shadow of a man that she thought she knew and now I’m dealing with the unintended consequences of not healing properly from sexual abuse or not having the proper information on how to foster intimacy or what it means to be a Christian and a black man and the child of a single parent and not know what it means to build your house,” he explained.

“And so now I’m trying to be a husband and a father and a leader and I didn’t see any of those up close. So how can you be what you’ve never seen? No I’m running blind, scared outta my mind, crying most nights and I’m tired. And so I said I wonder how many other people have been faking it? Many of us are weary,” he said.

I found this to be a powerful confession, and I hope we will all pray for this man to at last put his life back on the track he needs to find to be in God's will.  And I love what Pastor Jakes told him about getting there...

“It’s not a stage that you prayed for. It’s not a building that you prayed for. It’s not an opportunity that you prayed for. You’ve always wanted God to make a man out of you and He’s using the stage to make a man out of you. He’s using the building to make a man out of you. He’s using the opportunity to make a man out of you,” he said.

He told Gray that he was gifted and anointed because he was “broken.”

“You know how to bless everybody and everybody got your gift but nobody got you,” he said. “They got your gift but nobody got you.”

NOBODY GOT YOU.  Because, you see, there's two sides to every Pastor worth his weight- God's Word and man's frailty.  Pray for your pastors.  You never know when they might be at that point...

(And, if you would, don't leave me out...)

And now, the funny stuff.  It seems survey engine YouGov took on the subject about British sarcasm and American inability to detect it.  It all started with a list that's floated around for a long time, of Brit phrases and what is really meant by them...

YouGov took the list and surveyed how many Birts saw the negative meanings vs an equal group of Yanks.  The phrases they polled showed that "With the greatest respect" was understood as a slam by 68% of the Brits  but only 40% of Americans; some of the other splits were:

"I'll bear it in mind" 55/38
"I hear what you say" 48/32
"You must come for dinner" 57/45

But before the Brits start patting themselves on the back for being clever, bear in mind that a master of snark like myself will be misunderstood 50% even with American phrases.  It's not for no reason you hear social media comedians like myself lobby for the "sarcasm font."  So I thought I might add my own list of "what Chris means if he says" the lines on the British list.

I hear what you say:  And it is frigging stupid...
With the greatest respect:  Can't wait to get out of this so I can go home and tell Laurie what an idiot you are...
That's not bad: It will take me years I don't have time to waste on it to get used to...
That's a very brave proposal: Better you than me...
Quite Good: I prolly mean 'quite good' here...
I would suggest: I might just as well do this myself...
Oh, incidentally/by the way:  We used to use the phrase "evidently, it ended up" to indicate I am about to extricate myself from your boring story to bore you with mine...
I was a bit disappointed that:   THAT really pissed me off...
Very interesting:  Arte Johnson on Laugh-In:  "But it stinks!"
I'll bear it in mind:  But only when I have to deal with you, you turd...
I'm sure it's my fault:  But you helped...
You must come for dinner:  I should be pretty safe, I can't imagine you'd actually darken my door..
I almost agree: But my reputation couldn't take the blow...
I only have a few minor comments:  Frankly, I always use, "Do you have an hour?"
Could we consider some other options: This will require dragging me kicking and screaming...

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sunday message: the sword

Today I'd like to start with a passage I used when typing up the coming Wednesday message:

Mat 5:17  "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 
Mat 5:18  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 
Mat 5:19  Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

I have a reason for this- and sadly, again that reason is Andy Stanley.  You may remember me mentioning him some weeks ago in connection with his 'doctrine' of "unhitching ourselves" from the Old Testament.  Now, there are parts of what he said that make some sense- just like there were parts of the Serpent's soliloquy to Eve that made sense.  I am hopeful today of showing you there is a black-and-white line in all this.

From an article in the Christian Post by Michael Grybowski:

In a column published by Relevant Magazine, the North Point Community Church pastor argued that the Ten Commandments are “the old covenant” and no longer apply to believers.

"[I]f we’re going to create a monument to stand as a testament to our faith, shouldn’t it at least be a monument of something that actually applies to us?" he posed.

“Participants in the new covenant (that’s Christians) are not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles,” wrote Stanley. “Participants in the new covenant are expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant: as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

This new commandment is "a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the big ten," he maintained. "Just as his new covenant replaced the old covenant, Jesus’ new commandment replaced all the old commandments."

Now, if you want to parse out the things that Jesus said to leave you without responsibility for Scripture, this might sound good.  Did he lie, was he wrong about what he said?  I don't know that he intentionally lied, but I KNOW he made a BIG mistake, that led to all the other mistakes that he made in this statement.  His mistake is the word, "replacement."

Mat 22:34  But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 
Mat 22:35  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 
Mat 22:36  "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 
Mat 22:37  And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 
Mat 22:38  This is the great and first commandment. 
Mat 22:39  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." 

Jesus was NEVER telling us to throw out the OT.  What He WAS telling us was, the Law and the Prophets boiled down to two things- love for God (the first four of the Ten Commandments) and love for everyone else (the other six).  If you follow what Jesus preached, you ARE required to obey the Ten Commandments because they are the PROOF of doing the two commandments of the New Covenant.  For Stanley to say what he did would be like passing a new law in the secular world:  "You must respect the law at all times.  You don't necessarily have to OBEY it, but as long as you respect it, you're okay."

Stanley has a backwards reasoning in his ministry.  He feels that the OT is connected to all the things that MODERN people dislike about the Bible, and reasons if he teaches from a New Testament-only perspective, people will respond.  And it is a fine distinction...

For his part, Stanley explained that critics needed to understand the context, especially since his remarks were more for an audience that is turned off by biblical arguments.

"I told my kids growing up, if anyone ever asks you 'do you believe Adam and Eve are real people?' here is how you are to answer: do not say 'yes because the Bible says Adam and Eve were real people,'" commented Stanley in an interview with Michael Brown last July.

"You say this: 'I believe Adam and Eve were historical characters because Jesus did. And when somebody predicts their own death and resurrection and pulls it off, I go with whatever they say.'"

And right there is his folly:  He claims to be "unhitching" from the OT, but cannot do it without showing Jesus was THOROUGHLY hitched to it!  One source tells me, "Jesus quoted the Old Testament 78 times, the Pentateuch alone 26 times".  So if he begins to know the Bible, Andy Stanley knows his whole ministry rests on a fallacy.

But like he says, it makes modern people more "comfortable" with their faith, and thus draws them in.  According to a database by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, only Prosperity poster-child Joel Osteen draws a bigger "congregation" than Andy Stanley; by contrast, his more orthodox father Charles Stanley's church is only a sixth or seventh that size.  And "comfort" is the name of the game, right?  Fit in with society, right?

That is where the mainline Protestant churches are going.  The Episcopal Church in the USA is FORCING congregations to accept LGBT members, even pastors, or be thrown out.  The United Methodists are facing an upcoming conference on the same subject that may well destroy the denomination, at the very least taking the U out of UMC.  And why is this happening?  Because Jesus taught homosexuality is a sin, and society is teaching these churches it isn't.  And the result Jesus predicted long ago...

Mat 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. 
Mat 10:35  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. 
Mat 10:36  And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 
Mat 10:37  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. 

  TRULY following Jesus doesn't mean going to a "comfort church"... it means being on the right side of the sword.  I think we see where Andy is.  Where are we?