Messianic- Jewish- Gentile- a- 2013
1892- WHAT A DEAL!
Well I finally sold the Mustang last night [a car- not horse].
I put it on Craigslist for about a week- geez- too many calls.
People would ask for directions- I’d give them the address and directions- then they would call back ‘well- I don’t speak English too good [lots of Mexicans buy the cars from this area and sell them in Mexico] – I’m still in the parking lot ‘[Wal mart].
Okay- would could I do?
I told a few people ‘look- I gave you the address- directions- part of this project is you need to be able to get here- if you can’t complete this part of the ‘mission’ then I guess you won’t be buying the car brother’.
Yeah- they need that type of tough love.
So anyway it sold for 700.
That was a steal to be honest.
1998 mustang- runs good- does need a starter.
Another one was selling for 1500- with a blown motor!
Okay- let’s do another verse from the prophet.
‘In all their affliction he was afflicted- and the angel of his presence saved them’ Isaiah 63:9
If you read the entire chapter you get a scene of someone treading the Winepress.
I spoke about this a while back- the imagery of a Winepress- a place where you crush the grapes and make the wine- is used by the prophets in the bible.
Jesus himself uses the same imagery in the gospels.
Here you have God saying ‘I looked for a man- someone to do this mission- and I found no one- so my own arm brought salvation’.
It is important to note that in this chapter we see God [Jesus] stained with the blood of those who are being trampled at the Winepress.
In the book of Revelation we this same thing.
Many modern prophecy teachers [another pet peeve of mine by the way] have an end time scenario all figured out- they see these things thru the ‘lens’ of modern warfare- which nation should get which piece of land [Israel- Palestine- etc.]
But they fail to see how the New Testament focuses on all ethnic groups- Jews, Palestinians- etc- as being One New Man in Christ [Ephesians].
So- this image of the winepress sometimes is associated with a final battle of Armageddon scenario- that makes me cringe when I hear it proclaimed- in an ethnic way- from the media pulpits.
‘John- how should we take it then’?
Look- I’m not saying ‘my way’ is the only way- or the right way.
But when we read the bible- we must also take into consideration the broader themes of the love and grace of God- yes- judgment too- I don’t deny that- but the mercy of God must be there as well.
So- in this imagery of Jesus being stained with the blood of sinners- at a Winepress- the ‘place of pressing’ [like the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus started to bleed- pouring out his blood].
We can also see this as a type of the Cross- the place where the judgment and wrath of God was poured out- on Christ himself.
Maybe the blood that the ‘treader’ is soaked in- maybe its redemptive- just maybe.
But the actual verse I wanted to hit on was that ‘in all our affliction- he is afflicted’ [which by the way fits in more with what I just said].
In 1st Peter 4 we read that we are partakers of Christ’s suffering.
The apostle Paul said ‘I fill up the sufferings of Christ’.
They saw their trials as being redemptive in nature- that is they felt like the things they were going thru in life were for a higher purpose.
They did not view the Christian experience thru a lens that was primarily seeking self benefit.
Many today see ‘church’ and Christianity as a means of self improvement- often times you hear the same thing from the pulpits as you hear on the weekend self help infomercials [or the ‘how to get rich’ guys].
Is this a right view?
We are on the earth to glorify God- and to finish the work he gave us to do.
If part of the cost is suffering- then so be it.
These verses I have quoted show us in no uncertain terms that we are called- at times- to suffer.
As a student of all types of scholars- I must confess that our Catholic brothers and sisters get this right- much more often than Protestants.
So- those of you who have been tracking this journey- you have seen some flat tires- some wrecked trucks- and yeah- some up’s and downs.
I’m not saying all of this is equal to the sufferings of the early apostles- but in a small way- we can identify- and gain comfort- to know that these are not ‘strange trials’ these are things we all go thru in life.
I just wish we could take turns!
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
I woke up early yesterday- prayed and blogged.
Then I went food shopping around 5:30 or so.
I like going early before the crowds get there.
Then I took one of my weekly drives around the area.
I drove over the JFK causeway bridge to the Island- took some pics.
Took the ride around the City of Corpus and drove thru Cal Allen- Robstown and back past the airport.
I’ll try and post the pics this morning or tonight.
A few weeks ago our city started stepping up the code enforcement for various stuff.
Lots of people park their cars on the grass- or let the grass grow too long- stuff like that.
The sub-division I live in is nice- because of that we get lots of solicitors- selling all types of stuff.
They think we must be rich because we live in a nice spot.
Yeah- my home is close to the bay- and the Gulf of Mexico.
But I bought it years ago- at around 60,000- I got it under the real value.
I used to buy and rent houses- so I knew how to spot a deal- and that’s how I got this house.
It’s worth at least double now- but as a retired firefighter- I am not rich.
Anyway- we get the snake oil salesman here all the time.
So- when the city stepped up the code enforcement- my neighbor told me that one of the ‘enforcers’ was asking about my mustang in the drive way.
I was like ‘what the heck are they asking about the car for’.
It’s parked on the grass- but it’s not the ‘yard’.
Lots of the homes here have an area for RV’s or boats- and my house has a spot with the double gate- that people park their boats and stuff in.
So the mustang sits in a parking spot in front of the double gate.
Anyway I was like ‘why don’t they worry about all the door knockers coming around all the time- I mean every week I have people trying to sell me stuff’.
So- as my nature is- I sent an email to the mayor- and yeah- I let him have it!
So- the next day or so I figured let me get the car ready for sale.
When my girls got their drivers licenses we bought them all their first cars.
This mustang- 1998- is a nice car- we bought it for Becky about 10 years ago- and then gave it to Debbie [my youngest].
They all have their own cars now- so I have the mustang here- with the van- my wife’s car, my truck- and my classic 66 mustang in the garage [and Christina’s car too- my daughter].
So- I do need to sell the car.
Plus- the morning I was going to work on it- my wife came home later that day and said ‘your truck has a flat’.
Darn it- I have to fix the flat and mess with the car.
So- I get the car ready for sale and tell my daughter to call her friend and let her know I’m selling it- the girl had stopped by a few times to ask.
So- the girl comes over with her dad and boyfriend- she wants the car- but will ‘come up with the money’ on August 9th.
So- I told them ‘well- I’m still gonna list it on Craig’s list- and keep the for sale sign on it’.
They tell me they will come back and put a down payment that night- they beg me to not list it.
So- what the heck- I told the girl ‘okay- don’t worry about the down payment- just come back in 10 days and I’ll hold it for you’.
So- after waiting for them all day- they never show.
I was mad because I had a few other people who wanted the car- and I told them it was sold.
So- after stewing a while- I’m catching the local news- and seeing all the stories of the code enforcement.
Which was what started this whole thing.
And I see some lady crying- ‘I’m an old disabled woman- and your here threatening me with a fine over some weeds’!
Yeah- the local news media are all over it.
So- I’m watching it- identifying with her pain ‘yeah- and what about all the darn solicitors who come by my house every week- why don’t you do something about them- instead of worrying about my daughters car in the driveway!’
All of a sudden I hear a knock on the door- when the girl who wanted to by the car came by- for some reason she knocks- I mean I do have a doorbell.
So I thought ‘well- maybe the day won’t be that bad after all’.
I rush to the door- and there are 2 people walking away.
Hmm- doesn’t look like them?
‘Can I help you’?
They go into this long story- there sister died of breast cancer [last night mind you].
And they’re out selling some stuff to raise money for the funeral.
Yeah- more solicitors.
Okay- I am up to my ears with these people.
So- I told them ‘I’m busy man’ and yeah- I made sure the door shut real good- you know- some people call that ‘slamming’.
All in all- what else can go wrong?
My wife walks in the door- she says ‘your truck has another flat’.
I kid you not [solicitor’s revenge?]
So- the chapter for the week was Exodus 16.
It’s the story of God’s people in the wilderness.
They are complaining about Moses taking them out of Egypt and bringing them into this wilderness place.
They said ‘why didn’t you let us stay in Egypt- we had all the food in the world- now we are starving out here’.
So God gave them a miracle- he rained bread from heaven.
In the morning when the people arose- there was this bread type wafer on the ground.
When they saw it- they said ‘what is it’- or the word- Manna- which means the same thing.
And Moses said ‘this is the bread that God gives to you- you are to eat it’.
I find it funny- they were used to the gluttony of Egypt- stuffing themselves to the brim- even though they were in bondage- they were slaves in Egypt.
Yet- God has freed them- and he is giving them food- maybe it doesn’t taste as good- but it will sustain them- it’s what they need to finish the mission- but they are not used to it.
See- they developed an appetite for ‘the abundance’ of Egypt- they were hooked on getting ‘all you can get- the God of more than enough’.
Yet- the real God said ‘this is what you need- it might look strange right now- but trust me- this is the bread I am giving you’.
The last few months- for whatever reason- I have been hitting on the themes of carrying our cross- denying ourselves- living for God- not cash.
All themes that I have spoken about lots over the years.
Yet- for some reason- I felt the lord wanted me to go over them again.
It often takes time to see this stuff- we- in the modern church- have been fed a ‘buffet’ of teaching that says ‘stuff yourselves to the full- get all you can- eat until it comes out your nose’.
And God says ‘look- this Manna- this ‘new’ bread- yeah- it might be strange at first- you might say ‘what is this’- but this is what you need’.
Sometimes we get caught up in Egypt- we don’t even realize we are slaves- we get used to it.
The apostle Paul wrote about his credentials- he said he was beaten- stranded- stressed out- people talked about him- he ran out of resources- he was hungry at times- he gave a long list of things that would seem to contradict the ‘abundance mentality’.
Preachers today actually take verses- sentences- from his letters- and they teach the opposite of what he said.
They actually develop entire systems of thought- that go against the actual experiences of the apostle.
Where are you today?
Is the car still for sale- is the tire flat [mine is!]
Don’t judge things by stuff like this- sometimes we get the things that we need- the ‘Manna’ often looks strange at first- we have been fed the Egyptian buffet for so long- we don’t even recognize the real food when it comes.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
1887- SIKH YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Let’s talk about the temple shooting- but first a verse from the prophet.
‘I will gather all nations and tongues and they shall come and see my glory- I will set a sign among them and send those that escape to the nations’ Isaiah 66:18-19
Over the next few weeks I will try and post some of the verses from Isaiah that I have been reading- the ones I think have special importance.
This one is a familiar one I have been praying for years- it speaks of the greater purpose of God.
He wants ALL NATIONS and cultures to come into the kingdom of God.
The purpose of the church is not to fight and be a stumbling block to the nations- but to be a sign of peace- a witness to Christ’s kingdom- and those ‘that escape’ those that come ‘out of Babylon’ and into the new kingdom- they are the ones who will ‘go tell it to the nations’.
Okay- now the shooting.
As most of you know- the day before yesterday we had a shooting at a religious temple.
The religion is Sikh [pronounced Sick- or Seek] they are not Muslim- but they look Muslim- so these past few years they have been the target of hate.
The guy who shot and killed about 7 or so people was killed by the cops at the scene.
Now- as I watched the media coverage- they used this type of language.
‘He comes from a White Supremacist group’
‘They hates Jews and Blacks’
‘Stupid and uneducated’
‘He was not nice- he was crazy’
On and on.
Now- once again- I in no way want to make light of this terrible tragedy.
This type of hate crime- if it turns out to be one- is obviously terrible.
The point I make is you would never- ever- hear the media describe a radical Muslim shooting with these terms.
As a matter of fact- the president himself refused to describe the Hassan shooting as terror [the shooting that took place here on the military base in Texas- Hassan was a radical Muslim- and also a major in the U.S. military]
They made a huge point that if Hassan acted alone- then it was not terror.
Yet- the president- and the FBI have been saying this temple shooting is indeed domestic terror.
As far as we know- this shooter at the temple also acted alone.
Why the distinction?
A few weeks ago Brian Ross from ABC- along with his ‘partner in crime’ George Stephanopolous were the ones who jumped the gun and associated the Colorado shooting [the Batman movie] with the wrong person.
Ross reported- on air- that there was a Jim Holmes from the same city who had a Tea party web page.
Could it be that maybe another person with that very strange name- you know- about as strange as John Smith- might be the web site guy?
Sure enough- they ‘outed’ the wrong guy.
So- Ross was one of the first to come out and use this language about the temple shooting.
He couldn’t seem to wait- to say ‘see- I told you these Tea party- I mean right wing groups- are the real threat’.
Yeah Ross- you tell em!
Now- as someone who holds to the theological belief that the above verse speaks about- I have made efforts to have Muslim friends.
I have Jewish friends as well.
I try not to only have associations with other Christians- because I think we all need to talk to [not at] each other- and that Gods purpose is for the church to be a blessing to all nations and cultures.
So- that’s my position.
Also- we need to be honest about the real threats that face our world today.
As a student of history and religion I have come across a few recurring things.
One of the themes I see every so often is ‘look- we all [Jews, Christians- Muslims] have radical terrorists in our ranks- and we should not condemn the other group’.
Realistically- the very real threat that exists is within the extreme elements of Islam.
Everyone knows this- it’s no secret.
Now- do I want to offend my Muslim friends?
But- the truth is- are there real- huge scale threats of radical terrorism coming from the Jewish people?
Of course not [they usually point to a single incident in the history of the Jewish people- during the restoration of their nation in the 20th century- and this one incident has become the mantra for those who say ‘see- the Jews have terrorists too!’]
What about the far right wing hate groups?
A little more of a threat- yes- but a global threat- one that has the potential to destabilize nations- no.
That’s the whole point.
During the broadcast of the temple shooting- you also had the other news of the Syrian uprising.
These are the various nations in the Arab world and North Africa [Tunisia- Egypt- Libya] that have been going thru the Arab Spring uprisings now for a couple of years.
One of the major players in the overthrowing of the leaders of these nations is Al Qaeda.
Now- there are also innocent Arabs/Muslims who are being caught up in the fire fight- but you also have a very real presence of Al Qaeda in these rebellions.
The leaders themselves- who we have demonized to no end- have been saying this.
Gadhaffi, Mubarak- Assad- they have all said that the ones ‘rebelling’ have Al Qaeda in their ranks.
We [the western world] have for the most part played that down- heaven forbid that we should go against the ‘democratic spring’ that is sweeping the world!
The fact is- during the same news broadcast that is so quick to associate a single- isolated shooter- as an act of terror.
The same news media that refuse to use this type of language when a person [Major Hassan] who did indeed identify himself with radical Islam- a worldwide movement that is responsible for many worldwide terror acts- the media refer to his shooting- at an actual military base here in the U.S. [Fort Hood].
As ‘work place violence’.
The double standard is so big- you have to be blind to not see it.
Yes- right wing hate groups are dangerous- but they pose absolutely no threat on a global level.
Do they pose a Tim McVeigh [Oklahoma city bombing of the fed building] type threat?
But not a real global threat- one that would in fact meet the criterion of being terrorism on a global scale- no.
We need to be honest about these things- the media have once again dropped the ball by associating what seems to be an isolated act- with terror.
They showed video of the hard right rock group that this shooter played in- with no disclaimer that the other members of the group do not condone the actions of the shooter.
They used quotes from bystanders who said ‘they are uneducated idiots’- referring to this movement that does indeed have racist elements in it.
But I have heard the same racist stuff from Farrakhan- many times.
Yet the media would never- ever use this language about him.
As a matter of fact- Obama attended the million man march before he was president [I think he was the senator from Illinois at the time- the march was held by Farrakhan].
So- if hate speech is wrong- then it’s wrong all the way around.
If we condemn White hate groups- which we should- then we need to condemn Black hate groups too.
The New Black Panther party are a bunch of racists.
The leader of this group was photographed behind Obama during the 2008 campaign.
He was holding up his hand- in a Black Power display- and he was walking right behind the president.
They were in Selma at the time.
The media never covered this- or showed this picture.
That’s what you call a double standard- that’s what you call ‘media bias’.
NOTE- do you think a Romney type person- who was running for president- if he attended a David Duke rally- and had Duke march behind him on the campaign trail- would have escaped Scrutiny?
Not on your life baby.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
1884 AND THEY CALL THEM ‘SMART PHONES’
I dropped my daughter off at the San Antonio airport [by the way- we do have a nice Corpus airport- but the flights are cheaper if you fly from the Alamo city].
The next day [yesterday] as I was catching the news- I saw that they locked down the airport- they had a bomb scare at the same time we were there the day before.
Glad I missed it for sure.
Okay- there are always a few current event things to do- lets hit some real quick.
The Chick- Fil- A debacle.
As most of you know the president of the restaurant got into some hot water by saying he was for traditional marriage– not ‘gay’ marriage.
Then you had the ‘left’ go ballistic ‘how dare you hold values different than ours’!
The mayor of Boston [Menino] and Chicago [Emmanuel- yeah- him again] were outraged.
So outraged- that they said they were banning the chain from opening up restaurants in their cities.
Wow- what noble ethics these guys have.
If the CEO of a company simply holds traditional values- you forbid him to operate in your city.
Even though gay people actually work for the company- and they also serve gay folk.
No- if you say your view is different- you’re out.
I like Old Emanuel [not really].
The other day he teamed up with Farrakhan- he said they were going to work together to combat the killings that have taken over the city ever since Rahm took the reins.
So- let me get this right- you are not only willing to let Farrakhan operate in your town- but you give credibility to the man by publicly teaming up with him.
Jews are lying cheating bastards that need to die.
Whites are the demon seed- the kids of satan.
This nut job has spewed the most racist stuff that you could ever imagine.
Yet- Rahm refuses to let Chik- Fil- A operate- because ‘we do not share their values’.
Great job Rahm [and the political strategists of Obama- who were probably behind the whole thing].
Okay- enough of that ;stuff’.
Now that I have my new ‘smart phone’ I have been noticing the commercials and stuff about the phones.
I actually have learned a few things from just watching the commercials [sad- I know].
So the other day I’m watching the news with Dianne Sawyer [ABC] and they do a piece on all the injuries that have increased because of these new devices.
They do the stats on the increase of broken head/face bones [people walking off stuff].
All the neck injuries and stuff.
Then they show a clip of a guy walking into a bear- he’s not looking- he’s got his face in the phone.
Some person walking off the subway rail tracks.
A few other ‘smart’ phone folks walking into walls- or the pond thing in the middle of the local mall.
I mean it was funny in a way- I just didn’t realize I was getting into another high danger field- just by purchasing a phone!
I remember years ago at the fire house- all the younger guys were getting the latest phones and stuff.
I never was the type to update something just because the next new thing came out- I kept the laptop and phone for years before I would upgrade.
But you had the guys walking around the fire dept with the hands free thing- you know they are walking- talking- and nothing in their hand.
I thought they were talking to me- or themselves.
No- they were just doing the hands free thing.
Then we all got new pagers- and we had to wear them- all the time.
You know- just in case the chief needs you.
At a fire?
So- I would be at the scene of an emergency [fire- car wreck- heart attack…]
And sure enough- the ‘darn’ pager would buzz.
‘gee- who could that be- after all I’m just inside this house- on fire’.
I look at the pager [after the smoke clears].
It’s the latest scores for the college game [Basketball?]
I was ready to chuck the thing in the fire.
Yeah- we had pagers that went off every time the sports channel did an update.
So- we live in this strange new world of technology.
We also have Dem mayors refusing to give business permits to restaurants- at a time when people are dying for jobs.
And these same mayors- who refuse on the grounds that ‘they don’t hold my values’.
They are teaming up with leaders of racist movements who call for the deaths of Jews and Whites- way to go Rahm!
Yeah- it’s a strange new world.
Okay- that’s it for now- need to upload some of the S.A. pics I took the other day.
You know what that means?
Yeah- I’ll be using the phone- pray for me- please!
1883- ALL AND ALL IT’S JUST ANOTHER BRICK [NOTE] IN THE WALL?
So the news for the last few days has focused on Romney’s ‘world tour’.
As most of you know- he embarked on this trip to boost his foreign policy credentials.
And of course- the ‘main stream media’ has made it sound like he has made the worst gaffs since the time Biden told one of his political ‘close friends’ to stand up at some rally.
Biden ‘go ahead- stand- don’t be shy’ of course the guy sat there- still- hoping Biden would move on.
‘Go ahead stand man- stand damn it- enough of this false MODESTY- stand!!”
Finally- someone from the audience yelled ‘he’s crippled you ….’
Close friend- remember?
So- in London Romney’s asked about the Olympics- does he think there might be some security problems.
And as a former CEO who ran the Olympics in the past- he was honest- he said there might be some difficulties with the security people who were hired to do the job.
Oh my- the press in the U.K. and the U.S. made it sound like this was the worst thing in the world.
They spent days- top headlines- top world news- yes- ‘how can this be- Romney singlehandedly has destroyed the greatest coalition ever- NATO and the Brits will fall apart now!! Oh my!!!’
I mean it’s hilarious.
Most don’t realize that Romney simply expressed- in a nice way- what the British press has been saying for weeks.
As a matter of fact- the security company who was hired to do security were about 3,000 men short.
The British military filled the gap.
This is bad- very- very bad.
Though I’m sure the military are good guys- yet they are not trained for this type of job.
The London games is a major target for terrorism- and if the truth be told- Romney’s comments were mild.
But because they decided to portray them the way they did- now the media are stuck in a way- because the games have had a bad start.
Most of the seats are empty- they actually need people to attend the events.
Yet- you have people who can’t get tickets.
They don’t know for sure- but it might be that lots of companies bought tickets- and gave them to their people- and the people are not going.
I mean I’m sure it couldn’t be the fact that the media have been reporting for weeks that the security is in fact not good- no- it can’t be that.
Either way- Romney was right- and those who follow the news know it.
Then- Romney trotted off to Israel.
Of course the media have found their niche- they are waiting to stomp on him every time they get a chance.
So- he tells the Israelis ‘your culture obviously has contributed to your success as a nation’.
Okay- is this true or not?
Look- as a bald faced statement- it is true.
What did the media say?
Oh my- Romney has insulted the Arab world- he has defamed the Palestinians- how could he ever have made a statement like this!
Now- as an independent- I do not always side with U.S. policy in that part of the world.
And- I think the American Evangelical church has made some big mistakes when they read the bible- and try to fit current U.S. policy in with their interpretation of end time events.
So- I do not see the Palestinian problem as one side being the enemy [Palestinians] and the other as the ‘people of God inheriting the land’.
For the most part those are Old Testament mindsets that overlook the New Testament view- that we are all called to inherit the kingdom thru the Cross.
So- just wanted to make that clear.
But- the truth is Israel has one of strongest Democracies in that region of the world.
They are governed with a system of courts and laws- that have even ruled on the side of Arab people- against their own govt.!
That’s rare- very rare- you do not find that in Arab states- that a court in Iran would rule against their leaders- and side with a Jew.
You have certain Arab states- that to even be Jewish would get you killed on the spot.
And some Arab states [not all!] have no real rule of law- even though they have tried- many are living a lawless existence.
Okay- I know there’s more to the debate- but on its face- Romney simply told the truth.
Yet the media are reporting it as a huge blunder- the likes of which has never been seen before!!
So- they show a clip of Romney putting a folded prayer request in the Wailing Wall [Jerusalem].
They then do a quick story ‘I wonder what he said’.
You know- it’s a traditional thing- the wall is a place for the Jewish people to connect with God- and they pray daily at the wall.
So- Romney kinda says what he wrote in the note- he says he thanked God for the source of our salvation- a few other things.
Then they show the shot of Obama when he did his note- of course they had the scoop form Obama’s note.
He asked for ‘wisdom and knowledge to govern the people’.
Basically the same prayer that king Solomon prayed [convenient that this slipped out- in Jerusalem!]
Then they had the shot of good ole G.W. [Bush].
I braced myself.
They simply showed him putting his hands on the wall.
I was waiting for Brain Ross to break in [you know- Ross is the news guy who ‘outed’ Jim Holmes from the Colorado shooting- he said he was a Tea Partier from Aurora- of course he outed an innocent man].
Yeah- I was waiting for the ‘Ross Report’.
‘George- I have breaking news- I don’t know if this is the same GW from Texas- but a goat herder was walking by the wall- and he found this note had fallen- strangely- it was signed by a GW from Texas’.
Go on Brian- what does it say man?
‘Well- like I said- we don’t know if it’s Bush- but the note says- and I quote- “What’s it like to be a wall” unquote’.
Yeah- I was waiting for the scoop.
So- you get the idea- the media have the power- and the desire- to depict one side as total idiots- and the other as those who can do no wrong.
I’m not on either side- trust me- but the bias is hard not to see.
Okay- I actually do have more to say- maybe tomorrow.
Right after I post this- I’ll post some pics from the weekend- now that I got my smart phone- I’m taken pics.
In a little while I will be driving my daughter to San Antonio- she’s catching a flight back to Indiana- she’s staying there for now- her boyfriend has been working across the country- right now they are in Indiana.
So- I’m sure I’ll take some pics.
That’s it for now- enjoy the pics.
And don’t forget the lesson of the day.
If you’re in a political rally- and Biden says ‘go ahead- stand up man- for the love of Pete’.
Just leave- it will save you from a very awkward moment for sure.
1878- THE DARK KNIGHT OF THE SOUL
Well today is surely a day of mourning.
As you all know- yesterday marked another tragic day for our nation.
We had another deadly rampage in Colorado [Aurora].
Right down the road from Columbine.
James Holmes- a 24 year old student- walked into a theatre- carrying multiple guns- and shot randomly at the audience.
Last I heard- 71 shot- 12 dead.
It was at the premiere of Dark Knight Rising- the new Batman movie.
We don’t yet know the motivation for the killings- maybe we never will.
But of course- that won’t stop the media from making fools of themselves.
Brian Ross- ABC’s ‘chief investigative reporter’ had breaking news on their morning show.
He actually had the audacity to report that he found a man with the same name- James Holmes- who had a web site affiliated with the Tea Party.
Gee- I’m sure there are no other people with such an odd name that live in Aurora Colorado.
I’m sure if this were a Muslim name- I’m sure you would have reported a random find- that you found another Muslim name- sounds the same- and he’s affiliated with Al Qaeda.
The sad thing is- after a little while- Ross had to apologize- the man he ‘outed’ was not the shooter.
The shooter was a 24 year old- the Holmes from the Ross report is 54.
The 54 year old had to disconnect his phone- his family immediately became a target for revenge.
What a bang up job you did Brian- may God have mercy on your soul- and please- please go away.
It’s sad- right up the road from where I live- we had the Fort Hood shootings.
Major Nidal Hassan walked into a crowded room on the base and fired on his fellow military men and women.
Killed many- shouted ‘Allah Akbar’- and opened fire.
During the investigation we learned that Hassan carried a card that identified himself as a soldier for Islam.
He dressed in garb that indicated he was Muslim.
He made many statements thru out his career that said he was a radical.
He had on line contacts with nut sites that advocate radical Islamic terrorism.
Yet- for all this- the administration refereed to this killing as ‘work place violence’.
Yet- ABC news thought it fine to simply share- with the world- that someone with the name Jim Holmes was connected to the Tea Party.
We had another ‘attack’ just up the road from me a few years back.
The nut who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin.
The NY Times reported- on their on line forum- ‘Tea Party unhinged’.
It was later found out that the pilot was actually a communist sympathizer- not a Tea partier at all.
Gifford’s- when the congresswoman from Arizona was shot- the media spent a week trying to connect the dots- that somehow the political use of ‘targeting a district’ used by Sarah Palin- was responsible for the tragedy.
And of course- who can forget the nemesis of the large size cola.
Yes- a few years back Bloomberg [mayor of NY] referred to the Times Square bomber as ‘probably someone who is mad at Obama Care’.
We later found out- yes- once again- that the guy was a radical Islamist.
It’s sad how slow the media are to report the associations of radical Islam- when it’s obvious for everyone to see.
Yet- they go hunting- and even report innocent names- when they think there might be a connection with a right wing group.
How did Ross do his research?
You think he just stumbled upon a name that was the same?
You think he might just have googled ‘Tea Party- Jim Holmes’.
No- I’m sure the chief investigative reporter would never stoop so low.
This last week I’ve been reading Isaiah- chapters 49 thru the end.
There are so many key verses in these chapters- ones that I have memorized and quoted over the years during prayer.
In chapter 53 we read that God saw the ‘Travail of his soul and was satisfied’.
‘Because he poured out his soul unto death’.
‘He was numbered with the transgressors’.
The chapter speaks about the suffering Messiah.
Our Jewish friends apply this to their struggles as a nation.
I think both are applicable.
There is a term we use in Christianity- it’s called ‘The dark night of the soul’.
Saint John of the Cross [a famous Christian from church history] made the term popular.
Mother Theresa- we found out later- lived many of her years in this state of ‘darkness’.
It simply speaks about the trials we all go thru- times when we think all hope is lost.
Some people experience it more than others- the above chapter says this travail- this numbness- is redemptive in nature.
God uses it- and the people- nations- that go thru it for a purpose.
It was because Christ suffered- poured out his soul ‘unto death’ that he became the savior for mankind.
It was because of the struggles of the Jewish people that they have now become one of the most prosperous nations in that part of the world.
I’m not saying God ordains that a mad man shoot innocent people in a movie.
But I am saying that we as a nation can become a better people thru it all.
Yesterday Obama and Romney both suspended their campaigns for a day.
And I even heard MSNBC give credit to both men for it.
Yeah- we saw civility- by both camps- for the first time in a while.
Today we pray for the victims of Aurora.
We try and resist the stupidity of associating this mad kid’s act with any group- at least until we get more facts.
And we- as a nation- have an opportunity- we have a ‘dark night’ opportunity- we can either become worse- hate more- blame the other side for it.
Or we can reflect- we can turn our minds to the things that count.
In the end- we can find redemption in the collective ‘travail of our souls’.
1877 CHINESE FOOD- RELIGION- POLITICS [WOW!!]
Let’s try and cover a few things today.
Yesterday I went down to the mission to see the guys.
Henry showed up- I was hanging out with Dirk and Joe for a little while.
Henry heard they were serving chili – he has stomach problems- so he invited me and Joe to go to the Chinese buffet about a block away.
Henry has been working regularly at the boat dock and he had some cash.
We walked down to the Chinese place and Joe and Henry ate- I never eat lunch [or b-fast].
We had a good time- I actually took a few pictures and my daughter will try and post them [I’m bad at that].
We talked for a while- actually the guys brought up politics on their own.
Geez- Chinese buffet- homeless outreach and politics- I thought for sure the Kingdom had come.
Henry told me ‘John- did you hear- the cops cuffed me at HEB the other day’.
He told me the story.
Henry is one of the most upstanding guys you could ever meet.
He is a deacon for church without walls [a homeless church].
He is practically a scholar when it comes to the bible- and he does not do drugs or get drunk [he drinks wine. Not a lot- he thinks it helps with his stomach- that’s actually in the bible. Paul told Timothy ‘drink a little wine for you ailments’].
So- just to let you know- Henry is not a trouble maker by any means.
Why did the cops cuff him?
He went to HEB [our local grocery] and bought lunch.
He ate- then went to catch the bus.
Someone had called the cops and said a homeless guy was threatening him if he didn’t give him money.
HEB is right next to the mission so it’s possible that one of the other guys did do this.
So- when the cops got there they thought it was Henry and they cuffed him.
Henry does get mad- over the years they have arrested him- for no reason- they were just doing a sweep of the area- business people complain about all the ‘bums’- the cops pick a bunch of them up with no real charge- Henry is not loitering- he’s not drunk- he just looks bad [check out the picture on Face Book].
So- he has had to sit in jail- without doing any crime- and of course it would piss you off- it would me.
So anyway he told me the scoop- they finally uncuffed him- and let him go.
I took a few more pictures of the guys- now that I started posting pictures of the guys- I’m like the dad that keeps making his kids pose for pics on vacation [like my dad did a lot].
The guys were like ‘why are you taking pics’?
I told them I started posting them to the site.
They said ‘wow- were gonna be famous’.
One of the guys said ‘you can’t take my pic- the cops might find me’.
I mentioned that I regret the fact that some of the guys have died and I never got a picture.
I talked about Bill.
Bill was one of the first guys I met on the street- he was about 30 years older than me and I have written a few posts on Bill over the years.
Bill eventually saw me as his ‘best friend’ almost like a son/brother.
I guess I took Bill out to eat more than any other street guy.
Bill died a few years ago.
So- as I mentioned Bill- Joe told me that they have a picture of Bill hanging up inside the mission.
I couldn’t believe it- they had one of Bill- and the camp!
I took a pic- will post it.
Many of the guys live in makeshift camps- I have visited hundreds of camps over the years.
These are little ‘tent cities’ that pop up in the vacant fields all around the area where I live.
I live on a bluff- a peninsula type jetty sticking out into the bay- right off the gulf.
So- there are lots of beach spots- and areas where the homeless can camp out.
My area is nice- it’s been developed over the years and marketed because of its closeness to Padre Island [right over the bridge and you’re at the beach- the national sea shore- you could walk it].
So- after a while the locals complain about the homeless population- and every so often they do a sweep- and go thru the camps and cut the tents [cops] and stuff like that.
I have bought tents for the guys over the years- and I get mad when I hear the cops cut another tent.
I’ll try and get these photos up loaded soon.
On the way back to the marina [where Henry works].
We started talking about all the guys who have died these past few years.
I told Henry that when I do my early morning prayers- I try to ‘see’ these guys as part of the community- the little fellowship of friends I have worked with over the years.
I told Henry- that in a strange way- I still sense Bill- Shelby- etc. – as ‘hanging out’ with us [I just looked up over my head- I have a ball cap of Bill hanging on my shot gun rack- after Bill died I found it under my car seat. He must have left it there one day when going out to eat- I kept it as a memento].
I mentioned that as Protestants- we usually neglect the biblical teaching that our Catholic friends emphasize.
The Communion of the Saints.
That even though Protestants don’t practice prayers to Mary and the saints- yet in a very real way those who have died in the faith are indeed still part of the community.
I mentioned the book of Revelation- it speaks about the prayers of the martyrs [dead Christians] going up to God as incense.
I told Henry- just because our friends have died- that does not mean they can’t still pray- even for us!
Being Henry knows the bible well- he was familiar with the passage that I mentioned- he just never saw it like that [see- there are lots of things like this in the Christian journey- that’s why we should hold judgment on other Christian denominations as much as possible- we all ‘see dimly’ at times].
Okay- I guess will end there.
I was gonna do a few news items- yesterday the ‘rebels’ in Syria bombed a key headquarters of the leader- Assad.
This was a suicide bombing- by most accounts- Al Qaeda did this.
Yet- the U.S. – and the western media continue to describe these guys as innocent civilians whom Assad is killing.
This happened in Libya as well.
I am not defending Assad- but we in the West need to stop referring to all the rebel groups in the various Arab spring uprisings as ‘innocent rebels’.
Many are not- many are terrorists- they practice such things as suicide bombings.
The one yesterday killed some key Syrian men- one was the brother in-law of Assad.
Things are getting very unstable over there.
Our recent killing of an Indian fisherman [we shot the fishing boat off the U.A.E the other day].
And yesterday’s terror attack on a bunch of Israeli tourists.
These are all signs of major unrest in that region- It’s possible that this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to Israel taking out the nuclear facilities of Iran.
Obama has been trying to get Israel to hold off on the Iranian attack- you guessed it- till after the election.
But after yesterdays bus bombing- they might decide to go.
So all in all- there’s lots of stuff going on in the world- lets pray for peace- for all people.
PEACE ON EARTH- GOOD WILL TO MEN.
1844- POPES HOMILY
Got with the homeless brothers yesterday- found out Football Jim died a few months ago.
Sad to see him go- will write more on Jim another time.
Spent another few hours with Mike [few posts back- Scapegoat].
Mike shared more of his story with me- serious [bad] stuff- he knows I’m chronicling it on the site- he’s fine with it.
I will tell more about this also- but not today.
What I want to do today is a post for my Catholic friends.
Note- I have Protestant friends who get offended when I use examples from the church- or when I watch [or every so often attend] the Mass.
There are reasons they get upset- and it takes time to explain why I think it’s important for me to keep in touch with ‘the ancient church’.
For the most part- I have been a student of church history [and the early church fathers] for the past 25 years.
It’s impossible to read deeply into church history without having an appreciation for the older more traditional churches.
Over time you begin to view these churches [Catholic, Orthodox] as sort of older relatives- like an uncle or grandpa- maybe they don’t know all the current techniques and all [like using computers!]
But over time you realize they know more [or are right more often] then you thought when you were younger.
So this has been my experience on the journey.
Okay- this past Sunday I watched the Mass on TV.
Every so often if the church is celebrating a special memorial they will broadcast the service from Rome.
This past Sunday was Pentecost Sunday- so I watched the Pope give the homily from Rome.
Let’s cover the main verses he used.
The homily was good- but you have to pay attention to the verses/chapters to get a full understanding.
The chapters quoted from were Genesis 11, Psalms 103, Acts 2, John 16, and Galatians 5.
Because it was Pentecost Sunday the message was on the story we find in Acts chapter 2- when the Holy Spirit came to the church.
We read that the believers were gathered at Jerusalem- waiting for the ‘promise of Jesus’ that he would send them the Spirit [John 16].
When the Spirit came- all the disciples in the upper room began speaking Gods word to the multitudes that were gathered at Jerusalem for the special holiday.
They spoke ‘in tongues’ [unknown languages] and the people were amazed because they all heard the message in their own native tongue.
This was a Divine miracle that enabled the message to spread to all the different ethnic groups that were at the city.
After Peter preaches the gospel to them they repent and believe and are baptized- and the ‘Lord added 3,000 SOULS’ to the church that day.
The Pope contrasted this with the story in Genesis 11- The famous Tower of Babel.
This records the time when God divided the people by giving them different languages.
The people were building a tower and city that would reach ‘unto heaven’ [a symbol of mans efforts to reach God- or be like God- on his own- Humanism].
The bible says they ‘wanted to make a name for themselves’.
They were more interested in ‘leaving a legacy’ then in glorifying God.
God looked down and realized they were going to unite- in a wrong way- to build this city of man.
The bible says he came down and divided their languages in that day.
They were unable to communicate with each other and left off ‘building the city’.
This is where we get the term ‘babble ’ from- when you can’t understand what a person’s saying- he’s ‘babbling’.
In Galatians 5 we read about the fruit of the Spirit- and how we ‘thru the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness which comes by faith’ [a main theme of the Apostle Paul’s writings].
And in John 16 we read the promise Jesus made- that he would leave them and send ‘the comforter’- the Spirit- and he would guide them into all truth.
So we see the contrast of the biblical stories about language.
In Genesis 11 God divides the languages of men because they are rebelling against him.
In Acts 2 God ‘reverses’ this division by allowing them all to hear again in ‘one language’.
The Cross allows humanity to be united again.
The apostle Paul writes the Ephesians and says Jesus reconciled both groups [Jew and Gentile- which represented the major division of the time] by dying on the Cross for all men.
And that all men [who believe] now have ‘access to God by one Spirit’.
All in all- it was a good message.
The purpose of the gospel is to unite men- not divide them [I know Jesus said he came to bring division- families would be divided- mother- father against child. In context he was saying there was a reaction to being a follower of him. Sometimes families will even reject a child because they choose the Christian faith. We see this today among various religious groups.]
But the overall work of the Cross unities men- in Christ [2 become one- Ephesians- One New Man].
And we once again can share ‘a common language’.
The language of the Cross.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1840- DAVID’S TENT
The other day I went thru the gospel of Mark.
Of course there’s a whole lot in the book- but I came across a story that I liked a lot.
In Marks gospel Jesus is with the disciples and they are going thru the fields picking the ‘ears of corn’ [note- you did not have corn- like we think- growing in the land at the time. They were picking grain. But the King James Bible- 1611- which I use- did translate the term corn].
Now- when the Pharisees saw this- it was the Sabbath day- they accused Jesus and his men of breaking Gods law.
Jesus responded by saying ‘have you never read the story of David when he was fleeing Saul- how he and his men ate the sacred bread- that is not lawful for men to eat- only the priests’.
I always liked this story because there is so much to unpack- let’s try to do a little.
Was it unlawful for the disciples to have done this?
Not really- the Pharisees were a group of religious leaders that rose up during the time of the captivity of the Jews a couple hundred years before the time of Christ.
They did serve a noble purpose at the start- they wanted to retain the culture and religious beliefs of Gods people during a time of displacement from their own land.
So this group established the synagogue system [sort of a Jewish ‘church’] and they would gather around on the Sabbath day and read the scriptures and be reminded of their heritage.
Okay- what happened to these brothers- like many other good things that meant well at the start- was after a while they became elitist.
They saw themselves as better than everyone else- they became judges of all other groups- and they developed a Tradition- called ‘The Tradition of the Elders’ which was an expansion on the law of God.
This is what Jesus often fought against in his day- the Tradition of the Elders [not all tradition in general!]
Why is this important?
It is common in our day for many well meaning believers- Born Again Christians- to disdain all Church tradition.
Many people [like myself] come from a former Catholic background- and one of the first things you normally hear is ‘look at all the bad traditions that the church taught’.
This mindset is often justified by Jesus condemnation of the ‘Traditions of men that make void the Word of God’.
Jesus was not throwing all tradition under the bus- he was rebuking THIS specific tradition.
Okay- the reason I said ‘sort of’ [at the top] was because the defense Jesus gave said ‘didn’t you read what David did- when he ate the bread that was unlawful to eat’.
So Jesus really did not mind the ‘you broke the law’ accusation- but instead placed himself in the situation of King David and said ‘I too have authority over the Sabbath’.
In the Jewish mind of the 1st century- the statements like this that Jesus made [Moses said this- but I say this] these statements meant more than meets the eye.
They meant that Jesus saw himself as being equal with God.
If you carefully read the gospels you see this.
To the first century Jew- this was indeed a violation of what they were taught.
‘The Lord our God is One’.
So- Jesus defends himself and his men by saying ‘I am Lord over the Sabbath’
Strong words indeed.
The story of David is found in the book of Samuel.
He’s running from king Saul at the time- and he goes to the ‘House of God’ and needs food.
The priest [Abiathar] tells him he only has the sacred bread- which is reserved for the priests.
David makes up a story and says he’s on a special mission from Saul and the priest gives David the bread.
He eats- and gives to his men.
Now- when Jesus uses this story in the gospel- he does mention that David and his men both ate.
I find this interesting.
Because Jesus will sit down with his men at the last supper and do the same thing.
He tells them ‘take eat- this is my Body- drink- this is my Blood’.
How could Jesus ‘eat himself’?
The Bread and Wine represent the Body and Blood of Christ.
Jesus said his meat [bread- the thing that sustained him] was to do the will of God and finish his work.
He was sustained too by the mission he was on- he lived to ‘give his Body and Blood’.
This mission was his life’s purpose- he too ‘ate the Bread’.
Jesus also came from the lineage of king David- he was a ‘son’ of David.
In the above verses- it said ‘David came to the house of God’.
We often see this as the Temple.
But remember- the temple was not built yet.
David’s son Solomon will build it in the future.
So what ‘house of God’ did David come to?
It was the tabernacle [of Moses].
This was a tent type system that God gave to the children of Israel during their wilderness journey.
It became the central place of worship and sacrifice when they entered the promised land.
Eventually the main piece of this tent system gets taken by Israel’s enemies [They stole the Ark- the box that held the 10 commandments].
And when David becomes king he gets it back.
As the Ark eventually winds up back in the hands of David- he builds another tent thing- called the Tabernacle of David- and he places the Ark under this tent.
Now- David is king at the time- the bible says he put on a Linen Ephod and worshipped God before this tent [he operated as a priest- which was unlawful for kings to do- normally!].
Understand- at the same time the Tabernacle of Moses still existed- it just did not have the Ark in it- David’s ‘new’ tent had the Ark.
This was symbolic of the New testament King/Priesthood of Jesus.
He in essence would usher the people into the presence of God- absent the Veil of the Temple- a covering that existed in the Tabernacle of Moses- which represented separation from God- but was not in the one David made.
So you see- when Jesus used David as an example- there was more than meets the eye- much more.
[Jesus is the New Testament King/Priest that died on the Cross- the Veil of the temple was ripped on that day- and he now represents us before the throne of God- absent the veil- the thing that separated man from God].
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
Yesterday I went down to the local mission- I usually catch up with my homeless friends there.
I didn’t see Henry- but Michael showed up.
I met Mike around 20 years ago.
[ just a note- on my blog- under the Feb. posts of each year I have a category called ‘Homeless’.
I write about my friends in these posts.
I came to Corpus in 1992- most of the guys I met the first year or 2.
So you might read a post that says ‘I knew this guy for 20 years’. Then maybe in another post ’15 years’.
I don’t keep exact numbers- just realize I have known most of these guys since 1992]
The last time I saw Mike was around 2-3 years ago.
He was living on the other side of town- actually- more in the Mexican type area.
Now- I’m ‘at home’ in the Barrio- just like in the ‘white boy’ part of town.
Over the years I have been to the Govt. housing- visiting families- wives- kids- of my buddies that were in jail.
Lots of them were members of the church I started years ago.
So to me- race means nothing.
[Like I told my daughters friend one day ‘I’m not racist- I think Whites are only a little bit better than the other races’ Joke!]
But Mike- well- he was in the ‘bad part’ of town.
So he told me he moved back to ‘the Bluff’ and has a weekly room at the Plaza hotel.
A lot of the ‘homeless’ guys do have places- non permanent- where they stay on and off- this is Mikes thing.
He is working as a cook at the Golden Corral- a famous buffet in Corpus.
We caught up on old times.
Mike asked if I was gonna be around for a while- I told him yeah.
He walked back to the hotel- about 3 blocks- to show me his latest art work.
Mike is an A-1 artist- he has painted for years.
He even painted the signs for the apartments my wife manages [about 15 years ago].
He told me he just painted the for sale signs down the street.
The owner of Floyds Christian Restaurant is selling some land- Mike did the signs.
So he comes back with about 7 paintings- I mean beautiful stuff- all originals.
He paints ‘free style’ he doesn’t look at another picture- just from his mind.
I loved the paintings.
They were different than what I saw before.
Lots of birds- flowers.
Shore line- boats- fish.
He used to do lots of gory stuff- skulls- Mega death stuff [rock group].
I asked him if I could buy one- he does not sell them- but he told me he would let me have one for the cost of the materials.
I bought a beautiful scene- some fishermen pulling in their nets by the sea- a huge pelican on the dock- and these great sunflowers peering over them.
I gave Mike a ride back to the hotel- he did carry all these pictures by hand.
We talked- for about 4 hours.
I have found the guys- who have mental challenges- like Mike- they really benefit just from having a friend to talk to.
It was funny in a way- I must have quoted 50 individual verses that fit the exact scenario that Mike was communicating.
I really don’t ‘preach’ much at all when I’m with the brothers.
They know I’m helping them out [we often go out to eat] and they know I do ministry stuff.
But all these friendships are just that- these guys are simply friends I have made over the years.
But this day was different- I really taught Mike a lot of stuff- in a way that never really happened in the past.
He was telling me how he simply does his art on his own- most people don’t even know his talent.
When he brought the paintings to the mission- everyone was shocked that he actually painted them.
They have known Mike for years- yet they never saw his work.
So Mike told me that he likes doing his work in private- and simply enjoying the satisfaction of the paintings.
I told him that Jesus taught this ‘when you do your good works- don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing- do it in secret- and God will reward you openly’.
He said ‘yeah- that’s it!’
One painting he had sitting by the sink- he did not bring this one to the mission- was Christ on the Cross.
Mike showed me the nails in Christ’s hands.
He made them crooked on purpose- he said ‘my dad always told me I couldn’t even drive a nail in straight’.
He did this on purpose- in a way it was prophetic.
The painting of Christ- and the words that hurt Mike- the words he never forgot thru out his life.
He told me that in the past when he did artwork for various people [he has done portraits for hundreds of dollars- though he does not sell his own stuff].
That sometimes people take out their faults on the artist.
If they are dealing with problems they tend to pass them off to the artist.
As we sat there- with the painting of Christ- and the crooked nails.
I told Mike ‘this also is in the bible’
I went on to tell the story in the Old Testament of the Scapegoat.
Yeah- the Scapegoat comes from the bible.
In the Jewish religion at the time- you had the priest bring 2 goats- on one he would lay his hands- symbolically saying ‘we put the sins of the people on you’.
The one goat- the Scape goat- would then run away.
But they took the other- and sacrificed it.
I told Mike- this is what the Scapegoat is- Jesus himself bares the guilt and problems that the people bring to the table.
Mike once again said ‘yeah- that’s it’.
This went on for around 4 hours- I felt it was Gods way of communicating to my old friend- in a way that I never really was able to in the past.
He showed me an art book he bought from Barnes and Noble.
He really liked the way the author drew.
It was a teaching guide for artists.
It had quotes of all the famous painters of the past.
One from DaVinci said ‘the greatest mastery of all is the mastery of one’s self’ [paraphrase].
I told Mike ‘this too is in the bible’.
I quoted from Proverbs ‘he that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls- but he that rules his spirit is better than he that takes a city’,
Once again- it clicked.
I took pictures of the paintings with my cell phone- I told Mike if they come out good I’ll try and post them on my site so my friends can see.
I looked at them later- they did not come out too good.
The one of Christ with the crooked nails- that came out good- I have that as my Wall paper on the phone.
Maybe my daughter will help me post it on the site?
I have known Mike a long time.
His dad was in the Navy and they moved to the city years ago.
Mike is from upstate N.Y.
I have written about Mike before- he seems to have burned himself out on some type of drug over the years- you can tell he has mental problems.
But he is very talented- he has always worked- as long as I have known him.
And he has been on and off the streets for years.
I think the story about the scapegoat really made an impact.
Mike is smart- he asked me lots of stuff this day.
About creation- and science- things that other Christians have told him to reject.
I told Mike it’s okay to believe in certain scientific ‘proofs’ and also be a Christian [he knew a lot about the natural world- and I have taught lots about this over the years].
So he not only ‘saw’ a lot of things from the bible that he never saw before.
But I also was able to show him how the bible does not go against science [I actually just posted a note the other day on this].
I told Mike ‘why don’t you title the Cross painting- The Scapegoat’.
Every time you walk in the room- look at the painting and realize Christ has taken all the guilt and pressure and stuff that others have put on you- he is the Scapegoat’.
Sometimes its easier to remember a story when its connected to an image.
That’s why Jesus told parables- stories that people could ‘see’ in their minds.
Yeah- the scapegoat- with the crooked nails- yeah- how can you forget that?
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1820- WHERE THE GRAPES OF WRATH ARE STORED
Let’s end the week with a look at the death of Christ.
Today- Good Friday- is the day we remember the Passion.
In Psalms 22 we see a Messianic prophecy- the words king David spoke thru the Holy Spirit.
These are the words- feelings- that Jesus had on the night before he was crucified- he went to the Garden of Gethsemane [literally- The Olive Press] and was in extreme anguish.
In this Psalm we read ‘I am a worm and no man’ ‘all that see me laugh at me- they think my cause is hopeless’ ‘I cried and prayed and you never heard me- I have no rest day or night’.
Read the psalm later today- see the pain he went through.
The garden of Gethsemane was an Olive garden at the base of the ‘The Mount of Olives’.
It was a place where olives were crushed- the process allowed the oil to come forth- which was a picture of what Jesus was going thru- he was ‘being crushed’ so the oil [Spirit] would come forth to the world [Acts 2].
In the prayer he says ‘Father- if it’s possible- remove this cup- never the less- not my will but yours be done’.
Many of us are familiar with this phrase ‘thy will be done’ but we miss the cup part.
What was the cup?
The cup stood for ‘the cup of the wrath of God’ it was a symbol of the judgment of God coming upon the sins of the world.
When Jesus said ‘take away the cup’ he wasn’t afraid of dying- but he ‘feared’ the separation that was going to take place from God.
As he ‘drank the cup’ [the sins of the world] he would become ‘the container’ of the wrath of God- he would be cursed from God as a ‘sinful’ thing.
The apostle Paul says ‘he- [Jesus] became sin for us- who knew no sin- that we might become the righteousness of God in him’ [Corinthians].
So Jesus struggled with the cup.
In the book of Revelation chapter 14 we see an image of the cup and wrath.
There are angels coming out from the throne- we see Jesus sitting on a cloud and angels all around.
The angel says ‘thrust in your sickle and reap- for the harvest of the earth is ripe’ and we see the ‘Winepress of wrath’.
The picture is this angel reaping the earth- gathering the ‘grapes of the earth’ [Steinbeck- the Grapes of wrath] and casting them into a winepress [another type of pressing- like the olive imagery].
The Winepress is ‘outside the city’ [very significant image] and the blood from the press goes out for 184 miles.
This is a scene of judgment and wrath.
During the civil war the north used this verse as their theme song- The Battle Hymn of the Republic ‘mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord he is Trampling out the Vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored’.
Yes- the winepress was an image of where the grapes of wrath waited for the pressing- when the blood would come forth.
Now- this next part really deserves a full study- but let me do a brief overview.
The writer of Hebrews [probably Paul] speaks about an altar that sits ‘outside the city’ where the animal’s bodies were burned.
In Old Testament Jewish law- some of the animals bodies were not fully burned at the time of the offering- the blood that was used for the Day of Atonement was not a complete burnt offering- the animal blood was used.
So- the Jewish people had a spot- outside the gate of the court [outside the city] where the bodies were burned.
Now- the writer of Hebrews says this is a type- a picture- of the final sacrifice of Christ that took place ‘outside of the law’.
That is Jesus established a New Covenant in his own Blood- not part of the Old animal sacrificial system.
Okay- his death took place ‘outside the gate’- that’s important to see.
Now- as Jesus struggled with his impending death- he came to a point where he sweat drops of blood- he then said ‘if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it- then so be it’.
He drinks the cup ‘of the wrath of God’ and in a sense he becomes the place ‘where the grapes of wrath are stored’.
He himself becomes the final sin sacrifice for humanity- the place of pressing- where the ‘wine/blood comes out’.
As we finish this Holy Week- getting ready for the resurrection celebration this Sunday- let’s not forget that Jesus drank the cup- he became sin for us who knew no sin.
Yes- as the North sang ‘mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored’.
They weren’t seeing that the place where the grapes of wrath were stored were inside the Son of God- he drank the cup ‘to the dregs’ and was ‘trampled on’ by God’s wrath.
Yes- Jesus said ‘I am a worm and no man’ he was in anguish for you- and me.
Amen- and amen.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
Being its Passion week- I do at least want to recommend everyone try and read Isaiah 50.
This chapter speaks about the willingness of Christ to bear the reproach of the Cross ‘he gave his back to be whipped- his beard to be pulled out’.
In Christian theology we call this the Kenosis [Philippians] it’s the willing act of Jesus to empty himself of all the Divine privileges- his glory- while at the same time retaining his deity.
Many of the early church councils struggled with this division- that is how to understand that Jesus always was God- and yet he ‘gave up’ the unique privileges of that deity when he hung on the Cross.
The bible says he ‘emptied himself and became obedient unto death- even the death of the Cross- therefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name above every name- that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord- to the glory of God the father’.
Yes- this is what distinguishes the Christian faith from all the other religions of the world.
That’s not to say that the other world religions have no value- they do.
Many teach good virtues- loving your fellow man.
Others hold to the traditional belief in God and hold to the same apologetic arguments that the Christian church uses.
But the distinguishing factor is we believe that Jesus died for our sins- the founder of ‘our religion’ didn’t just give us good precepts- or examples.
No- we believe he actually died for us- and redeemed us back to God the father by his death and resurrection.
The epistle to the Romans says ‘we therefore have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ’.
Amen- and amen.
Okay- now a few notes.
2 or 3 posts back I mentioned how we should get ready to see a new narrative- how the media will begin telling us a particular kind of story about the Supreme Court and the political wrangling going on over health care.
Sure enough- to my surprise- the next day the President cane out and took on the court in an unprecedented way.
Many legal experts- on both sides of the aisle- were shocked.
The president used language like ‘a bunch of unelected judges overturning the will of the people’.
He said how there were many judges and legal experts who believe that the law [health care] is constitutional and should not be overturned.
He used language that was kind of deceptive- making it sound like the possible overturning of the law would almost be an illegal act.
I mentioned this in the other post- that if you carefully followed this law getting challenged in the courts- it split about 50-50.
And as I listened to the various arguments- to me it is not a stretch to think the law will be overturned.
But the president made it sound like the overturning of it would be political judicial activism.
I don’t think he actually knows what that means- when the term political activism is used it’s referring to judges who ‘legislate from the bench’.
That is they make new law- law that has not been in existence until their ruling.
A good example would be the Roe v Wade case [abortion].
The court found a ‘new’ constitutional ‘right to privacy’ in their ruling.
Now- however you believe about the ruling- the point is that’s what ‘judicial activism’ refers to- not the possibility of the court finding a new law unconstitutional.
The president also said if the court overturned his law- that it would be unprecedented.
The court has declared around 150 laws to be unconstitutional since the late 1700’s.
This would not be unprecedented in any way.
The day after he made these charges- he got so much criticism for overstepping his boundaries- there are 3 branches of govt.- Judiciary, Executive and Congress- and for any president to try and influence a decision like this is usually considered way out of bounds.
It is true that FDR had battles with the court- as well as other presidents- but for a president to use the language Obama did- well it was way over the line.
So yesterday he back peddled some.
I mean it was so bad that one of the other challenges to the law- taking place right now in the 5th circuit court of appeals- the judge interrupted the lawyer for the govt. and asked her if the president believes the courts have the right to rule against the law.
He told the lawyer for the justice dept to bring back a 3 page- single spaced- explanation form Eric Holder to explain their position.
This judge basically let the administration know that the courts are not going to put up with such a public attack on their independence.
So anyway that’s where it stands as of now- hopefully some things will settle down and we will see what happens when the ruling comes out in a couple of months.
Okay- try and read the chapter I mentioned today- maybe read Philippians chapter 2 as well- that’s the chapter I quoted from- and mediate on the death and resurrection of Jesus- he died for the whole world.
When Jesus was born the angels said ‘peace on earth and good will towards men’.
Christ came into the world to bring peace- to offer to all mankind a new and living way.
As Christians- it’s not our job to condemn all the other religions of the world- but to show them the difference between the Christian faith and the other well meaning faiths- and to let them know that Jesus died for all- all are welcome.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
1818- WHO IS BARRY?
Last night I was channel surfing the news shows- and I caught Lawrence O’Donnell doing another one of his ‘anti Mormon’ critiques.
Yes- MSNBC has an ongoing narrative where they speak about Romney as a ‘strange- weird- cult member’.
I saw this months ago- and they have been faithful to their task.
So anyway O’Donnell is covering the ancient teaching of Brigham Young [the co-founder of the Mormon religion- a follower of Joseph Smith] and he’s quoting all the racist teachings that he held to.
Specifically that mixed marriages are wrong.
Now- I could quote the actual Christian bible- yes- the Protestant/Catholic bible- and find this teaching in there.
Yes- the bible O’Donnell believes in!
But that would solve nothing.
Many old time preachers did teach this doctrine- from many various denominations.
Do we [I] believe that mixed marriage is wrong?
But you do have some fundamentalist groups who still teach this.
So O’Donnell is fulfilling his task to portray Romney as a cult guy- and he spends a big portion of the show telling everyone that Romney’s religion is racist.
Now- you could find stuff like this out- with all the other candidates- even the President- yet this network is really not a news network- they are simply Obama devotees.
Axelrod- the presidents campaign guy- a few weeks back tweeted that Romney’s religion does not allow women to enter the temple when they are menstruating.
He left the tweet up for a little while then pulled it.
I have heard other Mormons say this is a false charge- I really don’t know if the church ever taught it- but it’s possible.
Again- you do have certain health standards in the Old Testament- that if you read them- they speak about ‘uncleanness’ when a woman is menstruating.
We find verses on Dwarves not being able to serve God.
People [men] whose ‘stones’ are crushed not being able to serve God [testicals are stones].
So if you wanted- you could trace all these things- not just to Brigham Young or Joseph Smith- but you could also tie them in to the Christian faith.
Now- do most sane Christians believe these ‘strange’ teachings are still in effect?
Thank God- no.
But if your goal is to simply slander the opponent- then have at it.
Over the last few years- as a news watcher/reader- you pick up on certain clues along the way.
Maybe a story won’t make it into the mainstream [for various reasons- to cover up for a person- etc.] But as you read the other columnists- you see little pieces of the puzzle.
So- one of the charges that the ‘right’ has made against Obama is that he had a different name when he grew up- and went to school.
Some say he held the name ‘Barry Sotero’.
They claim his identity is in question because he might have been legally adopted by his stepdad- thus throwing the whole citizenship issue back into play.
Now- I have never read/heard a ‘mainstream news’ report on this- so I never brought it up [to me- it’s just as bad as raising the history of Romney’s church up- a belief he- and most Mormons do not hold to].
But as an avid reader of all stripes [both Liberal and Conservative writers].
I noticed something about a year ago- Maureen Dowd- a liberal columnist who writes for the N.Y. Times- she started referring to the president as Barry.
She gives no reason for it- she does not try and defend her use of it- she simply knows that he did indeed use this name- from what I can tell- all the way right up into his years in college.
Then why would you have never heard about this until now?
Because the media have a narrative- a story they want to tell [and also believe in].
They tell one that has the opponents of the president as a bunch of weird cult members- people who reject mixed marriages- people whose women can’t attend church when they are on their period- who have houses that have elevators for their cars [Romney].
These same media people were so entranced by a particular image of a man- an unrealistic messianic image- that they were so taken captive by- that one of them quit their job as a reporter- right on the spot- to simply join the most ‘transformative presidency’ in the history of man [Linda Douglas- who was reporting on the 2008 election].
You had another reporter [George Stephanopoulos] who admitted on national TV that he cried- very loudly [I guess like when you can’t get a word in type thing?] when he watched the inauguration of the president.
Chris Matthews famously said a thrill goes up his leg when he simply hears words proceeding from the presidents mouth.
Now- I don’t hate the man.
I don’t even like Romney.
But as you attempt to navigate between what’s best- what’s true- what’s fake.
For us to get treated to the 200 year old teaching of some strange leader of a religious sect- and yet for us to not even know that the current president never even came to the mainland of the U.S. until college- is striking.
Yes- the president lived in Indonesia- spent time in Kenya- visited the African continent- wrote about the anti Imperial mindset of the African colonies.
He was influenced by stories and people whose view of America was negative.
He lived among them- went to school with them.
Wore their Muslim garb [yes].
Prayed the Muslim prayer.
Used the name Barry.
And never stepped on the lower 48 until college.
Now- does this mean he’s a bad man?
But for us to know that menstruating Mormons cant attend temple- and to not know any of this- well that’s what you call media bias.
That’s not journalism.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
1812- John 3- Ephesians 2 [and the chicken!]
I want to cover the 2 bible chapters that I mentioned the other day- John chapter 3 and Ephesians chapter 2.
But first- some business.
I wrote a post the other day about ‘confiscating’ the little plastic bags at my local grocery store [HEB].
And some of you might be thinking ‘see- crime does pay’.
For your information- the bags were probably worth about 25 cents.
The other day I went to take out the chicken thighs for dinner- I couldn’t find them!
Then I thought ‘gee- my truck has been smelling like dead bodies lately’.
Yes- the chicken was left under the back seat for 2 days- cost- about 6 dollars.
Lesson? Don’t steal the bags anymore- cost? Priceless.
Okay- John chapter 3 is the famous chapter where Jesus tells Nicodemus ‘a man cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’ [or born from above].
We also have the famous John 3:16 verse ‘for God so loved the world…’
If you read the chapter- both Jesus- and John the Baptist speak about those who believe- they are not condemned- and those who do not believe are judged.
Yet Jesus says he came into the world- not to condemn it- but to save it.
In Ephesians chapter 2 the apostle Paul says we are ‘saved by grace- not of works- lest any man should boast’.
Both chapters emphasize the role faith plays in salvation.
Okay- where did I come up with these chapters for the reading of the week?
They were both quoted from during the mass on Sunday [as a Protestant- I always try and watch the mass on Sunday- as well as doing our own home church meeting].
‘John- do Catholics believe in being born again’?
Yes- very much so.
Being born again is actually a vital doctrine within Catholicism.
For a brief review of Catholic/Protestant teaching- on my blog- on the front page to the left- you will see a bunch of studies that I have highlighted- click the ‘Protestant Reformation- Luther’ and you will get a more in depth discussion on some of the differences- and points of agreement.
But for this brief post- Catholics [and Orthodox] believe the new birth takes place at baptism- for the most part Protestants/Evangelicals believe it takes place at the point of faith [added to a long list of ‘altar calls’ or ‘5 steps of conversion’ etc.- in short- Protestants have their own sacramental system- they just don’t know it!]
I say- mostly- because there are many various groups within the Protestant movement that also would agree that water baptism is the point of being saved [church of Christ- various Pentecostal groups- etc.].
Now- I hold more to the historic Reformation view [faith] but I do not see a ‘grave’ departure from scripture with those who put more of the emphasis on baptism.
There are verses in John 3- Jesus says ‘a man must be born of water and the spirit’.
Plus- the last half of the chapter starts with a discussion over ‘purifying’.
There was a debate- going on at the time- between Jesus and John’s followers- about baptism- the chapter says the debate was about ‘purifying’.
Overall- it’s not unreasonable- in my mind- to hold to the more traditional emphasis on the importance of the role of baptism.
Yet- Christians fight- vehemently- over this.
In this part of the country it’s common for a Baptist- Assembly of God- or Church of Christ believer to view the ‘other team’ as a cult over this- this to me is very sad.
The main point?
Regardless of how much of a role water baptism plays in your particular denomination- the main point is we are saved by faith- thru the death and resurrection of Christ.
In the Ephesians chapter- Paul actually hits on some pretty deep themes- that the death of Christ removed the ‘wall of separation’ between Jew and Gentile- and we both are made into ‘one new man’.
This shows us the role that the Cross should play in society- it should bring various groups and cultures together- not divide them.
It would take a little too much time for me to go into what the ‘wall of separation’ was in Paul’s day.
But he wasn’t speaking about our sins separating us from God [though this of course is true].
But he was speaking about the role the law [10 commandments] played at the time.
Paul- a zealous teacher of the Jewish law [Pharisee] held the law in high esteem- and often it became a barrier between the Jew and Gentile.
Some of the more fame seeking Pharisees [the ones we see Jesus interacting with in the gospels] used the fact that they were the nation that received the law under Moses- as an ‘I’m better than you’ mentality.
Paul says ‘the law of commandments that was against us- Jesus nailed them to his Cross’ [Colossians].
He also says in his letter to the Galatians ‘if righteousness comes by the law- then Christ died in vain’ strong words indeed!
The point he is making is we- believers- are no longer under the condemnation of the law- no longer under the continual threat of God striking us down at any moment because of our sin.
We have been saved by grace and those who ‘walk in the Spirit’ are no longer under condemnation [Romans 8].
So- Jesus nailed the law to the Cross- and the barrier that separated Jew from gentile- as well as sinful man from a Holy God- has been ‘taken away’ by Christ.
I must note that the apostle Paul himself- who is famous for this teaching- always added the caveat ‘do we now sin because we are not under the law? God forbid!’
He was accused- by the strict sect of the Pharisees [known as Judaizers] of teaching a ‘lawless gospel’.
No- he- as well as most Christian denominations today- teach that the 10 commandments are still very important- and as believers in Christ we will naturally- by our new birth- fulfill the law.
But it is no longer this sword of Damocles hanging over our head.
Okay- for those who haven’t had time to read the chapters yet- try and read them over the weekend- they are short chapters- think about what I said in this post- look for the emphasis on faith- the role that faith plays in our salvation.
I’ll be back in a few days- but I need to go now- need to get another pack of chicken thighs before the store gets crowded.
1808- 22 DAYS- AND COUNTING
As we end the week it’s been 22 days since Obama has held possession of the 1 million dollars that Bill Maher gave him.
I’m not sure how much longer he will keep it- all the clips of Maher calling women bad stuff- well they have been going viral on the net.
I even heard Ed Rendell- a big Democrat insider- say that he has Democrat women telling him that Obama needs to give the money back.
Maher just did a sold out show here in Texas [San Antonio] – he talked about giving up the ‘cu-t’ line about Palin [he also speaks of her as a ‘twat’ and makes fun of her Down syndrome child].
He said he gave up the ‘cu-t’ line [left the n out] even though it was the funniest line in his routine- that everyone loved it.
If that’s the funniest line on your show- then you have one dull show.
Sinbad [the Black comedian] is funny- you laugh when he does stand up- and you never hear any stuff like this out of him- if you need to degrade women and Down syndrome children to get laughs- then you have a problem.
The sad thing is- Obama and his guys are still 100% behind Maher- defending him on TV [Axelrod].
I heard Axelrod give a defense of Maher just the other day- while at the same time accusing the Repubs of waging a ‘war on women’.
Too much- that’s funnier than all the Maher skits combined.
Okay- let’s ‘keep em honest’ [as Cooper says].
As the debate heats up- Obama has been denying- vehemently- that he wants higher gas prices.
He told one reporter at a news presser- ‘do you really think that a president- in an election year- wants gas to go up’?
Actually- I don’t.
Then why ask this?
One of the political positions that some have taken over the years [Gore] believe that in order to wean the nation off of fossil fuels- that you have to get the gas prices high enough that it would then make the alternative clean fuels more economically feasible.
At the same time- this view believes that the Govt. should invest in clean fuel companies [thus Solyndra] and help them get off the ground.
Okay- has Obama and his Energy secretary ever espoused views like this?
Yes- many times- in public- on camera- on utube- even in the last couple of years.
Okay- do we have the right to be suspicious?
Obama- and Chu [energy secretary] have both said there goal was to get fuel prices higher- Chu said 8 dollars would be about right [a gallon].
This administration has touted clean fuel companies and has even been caught [emails] telling one company that was about to go under [Solyndra] ‘wait until after the midterm elections before you go bust’.
They have held this anti fossil fuel position for a long time.
Then why is it so unreasonable to simply ask ‘do you still hold to your past position- one you are on record as having- that you want gas prices to go up’.
Yet- the MSNBC crowd- and the other supporters of Obama in the media- they cant believe that anyone would ever believe that Obama and Chu would want gas to go higher.
Chu was confronted this week at a congressional hearing- the congressman asked him if he still held to the words he spoke a few years ago when he said he wanted gas to go up in price.
Chu said- ‘no- I don’t hold to that view anymore’.
Geez- this was your life long mission- something you advocated for- for many years- you’re were on that side- the Gore idea- and now you say ‘I don’t hold the view’.
Who do we believe man?
As MSNBC continues their ‘war on women’ accusation- we now have clips of Sharpton making the rounds [UTUBE] where he calls the Greek Philosophers [the ones I have been teaching on this least year] ‘a bunch of Homo’s’.
How wonderful- Sharpton- a guy- flim flam man- who holds a regular show on msnbc- he degrades Jews- calls Greeks ‘Homo’s’ speaks of Whites in terrible ways- yet he is lauded as some great civil rights guy- and he is a major supporter of Obama.
This week- the justice dept just overturned a Texas voter I.D. law.
Some states have been passing laws that say you need picture I.D. to vote.
Holder [attorney general- who has said that the civil rights laws are only meant to protect Blacks- not Whites- he did say this by the way].
He overturned Texas’ law because he said it was racist- because more minorities don’t have I.D.’s.
A few years ago- there was a video making the rounds- a Democrat woman [I think Ca.?] she was onstage talking to an Hispanic audience- she said ‘go tell your friends and neighbors to vote- even if they don’t have documentation- because they are not allowed to check at the polls’.
So some states have passed laws- trying to make sure that only citizens are voting.
In 2008- Georgia’s first vote after they passed voter I.D. laws- they had MORE Blacks show up to vote.
In 2008- the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter I.D. law- Justice John Paul Stevens- a liberal- wrote the majority decision.
He simply said that states have a real interest- not racist- to make sure only eligible voters are voting.
He said there was absolutely no evidence to suggest that requiring people to have picture I.D.’s to vote is racist.
Yet Holder says that states that are trying to pass voter I.D. laws are trying to ‘undo’ the civil rights gains that men like John Lewis fought for in the 60’s.
This guy is unbelievable.
So we have an administration- whose public defenders- who’s attorney general- whose energy secretary- and all the other people around him- hold to paranoid views on race and energy and all types of things.
They call women the nastiest manes in the book- they speak about Jews and Whites as groups that conspired against Blacks and who need to be ‘eliminated as a social class’ [Bell].
Yet- at the same time they are also running a media campaign that says ‘look at all the Repubs- they are anti woman- they are racist- they call women sluts’.
And then when 2 polls come out [this week- Washington Post and N.Y. Times] they cant believe that Obama’s approval actually fell- even among women.
Yes- after the Super Tuesday results- when Santorum won a large amount of women voters- you had the pundits on MSNBC shocked- even mad ‘I guess these southern women are too stupid- that they would vote for a guy who wants to take away their birth control’.
Now- Southern women- Northern Women- women from all regions and colors- they have daughters and sons who need jobs- who have a very bleak future ahead of them- if the economy does not start really producing jobs.
These women are paying 75 dollars to fill up their cars/vehicles.
These women- they have real concerns about real issues.
And for the media to have really thought that their contrived War on Woman campaign- to have thought that women would go out in huge numbers to vote for their ‘right to have birth control- paid for by everyone else’ for them to have thought this was demeaning- condescending.
Yes- women are concerned about health care issues- and the CBO said this week that Obama care will cost twice as much than what he said [1.7 trillion instead of 900 billion].
And that private employers would drop around 20 million people from their rolls [not 1 million as Obama said].
Yes- these health care issues matter to women- it matters to women that your major supporters degrade women on a regular basis- accuse Jews and Whites of conspiracies.
These things matter too.
But no- the media can’t understand how Obama’s approval actually went down among women- not up.
I guess they don’t realize that Jews and Whites and Hispanics and all other races- well they are women too.
And even though Eric Holder does not believe that these ‘other races’ are covered under the civil rights laws- and that states that simply want citizens to vote- whether they be Mexican or White or Black- they want to make sure only eligible voters vote.
Well Holder says that those states are trying to turn back the civil rights gains made over the past 60 years.
It’s no wonder why the numbers are going down- women see these things- women of all races- and its condescending to have thought that women were going to abandon the other side in huge numbers and support Obama- all because a Georgetown university student- who pays 40 thousand a year tuition- can’t afford 9 dollars a month at wal mart for birth control.
It’s a surprise for me to think that any woman- Black- White- North- South- would have swallowed a line like that.
1805- GROUND ZERO- ABOTTOBAD [Pakistan]
Let’s start with an article I read this week on the last days of Bin Laden.
Now- I must admit when I got about halfway thru I could not stop laughing.
I sit in the yard during the day when reading- and yes- I was outside- laughing loud.
The story covered how during the last few months of Bin laden on the lamb- that his oldest wife ‘showed up’ one day at the compound.
Yes- the article repeats this- she ‘showed up’.
It made it sound like they did not want her to know where he was living.
Understand- his 3 story compound- which we have all seen on the news- was considered the world’s most top secret hiding spot- hidden right by the Pakistani military academy- to protect it from the U.S.- and we spent years trying to track him down.
Even on the day of the famous seal team 6 raid- we still did not know for sure that he was there.
Yet- this oldest wife- well- she ‘showed up’ one day [just a warning to all you players out there].
Now- the story goes that everyone in the compound [28 people in total] were all afraid that she was going to rat them out.
Bin Laden lived on the 3rd floor with his youngest wife- from Yemen.
And he had another wife living with them on the 3rd floor- she slept in the computer room.
But the oldest wife- the one who just ‘showed up’ she stayed on the 2nd floor- right below Bin laden.
Now- one of the sons of the other wives kept asking her ‘what are you doing here?’- And she finally said- I’m quoting from the article now ‘I HAVE ONE LAST DUTY TO PERFORM FOR MY HUSBAND’.
The son immediately ran to the 3rd floor to inform the world’s most feared terrorist- the man who masterminded the worst terrorist attack to ever hit our shores- 3,ooo dead.
The son tells him the ominous tone of the woman’s voice.
It is said that Bin Laden simply replied ‘the will of Allah be done’ [okay- I hedged some- the article states he simply felt fate would take over].
Fate taking over- Allah’s will be done- come on man- do something about it.
Now- as a Christian blogger I usually don’t advocate for murdering a disgruntled spouse- but I just saw this past week how some American took his wife ‘deep sea diving’ and was charged with killing her- they think he turned off the air valve.
Okay- rank amateur- American born- you would think Bin Laden could have done more than say ‘the will of Allah be done’.
Okay- the famous night of the raid- he’s living on the 3rd floor- a compound within a compound- everyone in the home fears for their lives- not from the U.S. – but from the oldest wife.
Then all of a sudden- you hear a commotion- guns going off- we have all seen the depiction of Bin Laden standing by the bed- reaching for a gun- when the door breaks and seal team 6 arrives to save the day.
Yes- the cartoon depiction [we have no real video] left one thing out- Bin Laden probably said ‘Oh thank Allah- it’s just you guys’.
I will end the Bin Laden saga with one last quote- the article states that after Bin laden’s death- the Pakistani intelligence people- who just happen to have actual Taliban and terrorist within their ranks- when they interrogated the older wife- they said- quote ‘She is so aggressive- she borders on being intimidating’.
They basically were afraid of being in the room with the woman- now we know why we have all the videos of Bin Laden sitting in his room- looking at that TV screen- isolated- alone.
The reports were he was sick- and some questioned his mental health.
Yes- it looks like seal team 6 did save the day- for the U.S. – and Bin Laden.
Okay- wasted too much time on that one- and too risky.
You say ‘John- you do have readers in some of these countries in the Arab world- should you so freely be joking like this?’
To which I have one reply ‘who’s John’?
Okay- like I said in the last post or 2- the backlash of the Rush ‘slut’ comment- which caused him to lose advertisers- has provoked a response from the right- they have now gone and found the statements of Bill Maher- and have made a short UTUBE clip about them.
I don’t want to repeat the ones from the previous post- but be warned- these get bad- real bad.
Maher referred to Palin getting the job at fox ‘Palin is now going to comment on fox- her night job is like her day job- talking to Down Syndrome people all day’.
Note- Down Syndrome is a serious problem- one of the stigmas of it is many people used to confuse it with other more serious mental retardation issues.
How anyone can say this on national TV- and at the same time be a major supporter of the president- it’s beyond me.
Okay- he also refers to Palin- as ‘that C-U-N- and then a T’ [I mean- it’s so bad I have to find ways to say it- without ‘saying it’.]
As the week progressed- and the comments came out- some on the right are simply saying ‘this guy is a major funder of Obama’s PAC- he has made all the rounds on TV- he even called Plain a MILF [mothers I’d like to f—k] on CNN- and the news media are not asking Obama or his supporters if he should apologize’.
Yes- Obama needs to give the blood money back- disconnect from this idiot- and part ways.
But wait- as I was listening to right wing radio- Hannity- they had some Democrat woman on- who said these comments were acceptable- because they were made in a political environment- and were not a personal attack against all women.
Calling her the C word- bringing her sons sickness into it- acceptable? Unbelievable.
And last but not least- the videos and connections Obama has had with radical left wing Black activists.
A video came out that showed Obama supporting/introducing a Black racist.
The video simply showed Obama at Harvard introducing Derrick Bell- a radical racist activist who is anti White and Anti Semitic.
Now- Obama did not just do a onetime introduction- when Obama taught at the University of Chicago- he had this man’s books as required reading for a law class he taught.
Bell advocates for ‘radical race theory’- an idea that says the ‘JEWS’ conspired with the Whites in order to keep the Black man down- and that the only solution is to ‘abolish the White race as a social category ‘[actual quote].
Okay- a few years ago I remember when Trent Lott- the leader of the Repubs in the senate- he made a silly/stupid comment at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond.
When Strom was younger- he did run as a presidential contender in the south- and the Repubs and the Dems have a history of racism in the south- actually the Dem’s have a more racist history in the south [Dixiecrats].
So Lott says ‘things would have been a whole lot better if you won’
Okay- the media and the Dems went nuts- were you saying you wished that the south ‘won’ and the racists took over?
He simply apologized and said it was a stupid statement he gave at a party- he shouldn’t have done it.
Now- Lot lost his spot as the top leader over this.
Yet Obama has endorsed- spoken kindly about- and even recommends the books of a man who hates Jews- wants to ‘abolish the White race as a social category’- and has said these things openly before the whole world.
‘Well John- you don’t believe Obama believes this- do you’?
I have no idea- the point is he does have all these bad connections with people- things the media ignores- and at the same time he calls for a more civil discourse- on the right side of the aisle.
Okay- will end with one last quote- this came up on the Opie and Anthony show- the guy was some type of Democrat ‘entertainer’- he referred to Sarah Palin’s son- who has Down Syndrome ‘that retarded piece of &^%$ that came out of her C—T’.
Yes folks- you heard it- this same man was scheduled to speak/entertain at a Dem fundraiser later in the year.
I have not heard one prominent Democrat rebuke these comments- the things Maher has said- on video- not one Democrat has come out with the same ‘righteous outrage’ that they felt when a Republican called a lady- a Slut.
If we want civil discourse Mr. Obama- then let it start with your supporters- because it seems like they never heard the phrase.
1804- THE NEW ISAAC
So a few days have gone by- and the number one media story- the story that topped the deaths in Syria- the U.N. report that says we and NATO backed a group that committed ‘war crimes’- yes- the top story- that Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke as ‘a slut’ and that he finally apologized- yes this was the headline of the week.
What U.N. story John?
Glad you asked.
If you remember during our ‘kinetic action’ in Libya- I wrote a bunch of critical posts about our involvement.
I kept saying that we were using the wording of the U.N. resolution- that said we had the authority to go in and use DEFENSIVE means to protect civilians- well that wording became twisted [by us] to mean we can chase down Gadhaffi and his family [and his friends] and simply kill them.
When some observers began questioning this act- we said we were using ‘defensive’ means to knock out the ‘command and control’ of Gadhaffi- and that’s how we justified it.
Now- this whole thing was a farce- there never was any ‘command and control’ in the buildings we bombed- we simply thought Gadhaffi might have been there.
So we bombed his sons house in a private neighborhood- killed his grandkids- but missed him.
Okay- the U.N. did a yearlong study to see if we did indeed violate human rights by lying like this.
The report came out- and it said we tried to reduce the civilian causalities- but did kill around 60 innocent people under the guise of ‘taking out command and control’.
They found that there was no evidence at all that these buildings we targeted were command and control centers.
Yes- the report also states that the rebel group we backed did commit war crimes- now- the report says Gadhaffi’s side committed ‘crimes against humanity’ [far worse] but that our side did commit war crimes- and till this day the new ‘govt.’ will not investigate the possible crimes committed when they killed innocent people.
So- this story was a small article in the back of the paper- it should have been headline news- not ‘the slut’ comment.
Okay- in the last post I commented on Jeremiah chapter 33.
This was the promise God made to Israel that he would fulfill his promise and they would be restored into a strong nation.
I referenced the earlier story we find in Genesis [chapters 12-15] where God makes this promise to Abraham.
If you read these 2 chapters- plus 17 and 22- you will get the main promise.
God called Abraham to leave his homeland and go on a journey. In this new land God would bless Abraham and he would have tons of kids and grandkids and eventually become a nation [the nation of Israel].
So over a period of time- thru many dangers and trials- he finally has a son- named Isaac- and this son is the promised child thru whom all the others will come from.
In chapter 22 of Genesis- when Abraham was an old man- Gods tests him and says ‘Abraham- go and take Isaac- your only beloved son- and offer him up to me on Mount Moriah’.
Abraham went thru many years of doubt and struggle before he finally received the promised son [read chapters 17-18 of Genesis].
And when Sarah finally had the child- it was a miracle.
So when God says ‘offer this boy up’- to Abraham it was putting at risk the whole purpose of his life- the very reason he left his friends and family and moved to a strange land.
But the bible says he took the child- and when they got near the range of mountains where mount Moriah was- he told the servants ‘you guys wait here- me and the boy will go to worship- and we will BOTH BE BACK’.
This phrase is picked up in Hebrews chapter 11- the writer says Abraham simply believed that God would raise the boy from the dead- that’s how he justified in his mind the order to offer his son- and this same son being the child thru whom the others would come.
So as Abraham approaches the mountain- he takes the wood for the offering- the ‘fire’- and no animal.
He puts the wood on Isaac’s back- to carry up the hill.
Isaac asks his dad ‘dad- we have the wood and all- but where is the animal for the offering’
Abraham simply tells his boy ‘God will provide himself a lamb for the offering’.
As they get to the top of the hill- Abraham ties Isaac with the rope- and puts him on the altar and takes out a knife to slay him. At that moment- an angel calls out to him and says ‘STOP!’
The whole thing was a test- to see if Abraham would do what God said- even if it seemed contrary to Gods promise and purpose for his life.
It should be noted that the Rabbi’s tell us that Isaac was not a young boy at the time- he was probably an older teen- strong enough to carry the wood up the hill.
This signifies that Isaac could have probably put up a fight- and won!
But he heard all the stories about God’s miracles- his dad recounted all the great signs and things that God did in their lives- and when Abraham got to the point of offering up his son- maybe Isaac simply accepted that God was in control and he would do whatever needed to be done.
Over a thousand years later- Jesus would walk the dusty streets of Jerusalem- he too was a promised son.
He preached and healed and was a true miracle worker.
He often used ‘Father Abraham’ as an example to prove his teachings- one time he said ‘before Abraham was- I AM’.
This incensed the hearers and they took up stones to kill him- the words I AM- are the words that refer to God [during Moses time he told Moses he was the I AM].
So the day comes for Jesus to ‘take the wood’ of the sacrifice- and go up the hill- called Calvary.
History tells us that Calvary is in the same range of mountains that Moriah sits on.
Jesus- the ‘second Isaac’ took the wood of the Cross- just like Isaac- and carried it to the top.
In the story of Abraham- when the angel said STOP- they looked around and found a ram in the brush- they used the ram as a sacrifice.
But this day- the day of Jesus- no ram was to be found- he looked up to his God- and he said ‘why do you forsake ME LIKE THIS’.
Yes- Jesus was the lamb that Abraham prophesied of- he was the ultimate sacrifice.
Sometimes we go thru things that seem contrary to the true purpose- things that we see as course changers.
When Jesus died- all of his followers thought the goal was gone- they thought he was going to lead a present day rebellion against Rome and become the new Messiah ruling out of Jerusalem.
When he died on the Cross- they could not harmonize what they thought was the whole purpose- and this gruesome death.
Yet 3 days after they saw the true purpose- the ultimate reality.
Are you at Mount Moriah?
The place that seems like all is lost.
Trust God- after 3 days everything will look totally different.
1803- A MONKEY- A BLOGGER- AND- WELL- A ‘SLUT’.
Okay- once again we have spent a news week- with some very important stories to cover [Syria- etc] and some stupid stuff.
So what was the stupid/silly stuff?
Well- as a 70’s generation kid- sure- I liked the Monkees [Hey- Hey with the Monkees- …].
Its Saturday morning- can you just hear the song in your mind as you read the above line?
If so- then you- and me- are actual nerds.
Big deal- Yeah- I watched the thing- and even walked to school with a Beatles lunchbox- you know- the metal kind- hey- it beat having a Brady Bunch one.
Davy Jones- the lead singer- seemed to be a nice guy- he passed away- and it was sad to see him go- I prayed for his wife and kids.
Then we had the passing of the right wing blogger- Andrew Brietbart.
He was known for his bold- in your face style.
Famous for bringing down Tony Weiner- the N.Y. Dem who liked texting his genitals to unknown women on his Facebook sight.
He was also famous for posting a video of Shirley Sherrod- a Black woman who worked for the govt. – she handled loans for farmers.
This dept. has been sued in the past for discriminating against Black farmers and they settled a big lawsuit a few years back.
Anyway- Shirley gave a speech at some Lib/Dem thing- and in part of the speech she said how when White farmers came in for loans- she thought to herself ‘why should I help this white guy- it’s now his turn to get the bad end of the stick’.
Later in the speech- she said she now knows these thoughts were wrong- and she said how God rebuked her for it.
Okay- when the short clip got out- only showing the first part- there was a firestorm and Obama fired the lady.
Later we found out about the whole clip- and he offered to rehire her- she said forget it.
So- the media- all over- every day- accused Brietbart of only showing the bad part of the clip- and not the good part.
Actually- in his original post- he showed both the good and the bad.
It was Glenn Beck and a few others who only showed the bad part.
But the media- who all feed off of each other- kept going with the fake story that he only posted the bad stuff.
Till this day- they still believe it.
So just this last week Brietbart was on a progressive [liberal] show- Cenk Ugyr- Young Turks- and Cenk accused him once again of the false accusation.
For the first time on TV- Brietbart corrected the accusation and rebuked Cenk on air- Brietbart revealed the false charge that the media kept reporting- that he only showed the bad stuff.
Then a few days later I noticed he was invited on a number of more liberal news shows- to sit as a commentator on the election.
I think some of these news guys [Piers Morgan- CNN] might have double checked the story and found out that yes indeed- they all ran with the fake story- even till this day.
So- what do you know- Brietbart dies at the age of 43- and Andrea Mitchell- Shep Smith- and a few other news reporters once again repeated the charge- the false one- that he was famous for railroading Sherrod by only posting the racist part of the video- not the repentant part.
Ah- what can he do to defend himself- he’s dead- Yippee!!
And last- but not least- we had the uproar over the Rush comments about Sandra Fluke- the Georgetown University student who testified before congress about her having to pay for her own birth control- which cost a lot- damn you!
Yes- Rush made fun of the girl- and said she was ‘a slut’- and he wanted her to post her ‘extra curricula’ actives on line for all to see- because she wants the tax payer to pay for her birth control.
So the media thought this important enough to bill as a top story- right up there with the deaths of the Syrians in Homs.
They are asking all the Repub candidates to make Rush apologize- on and on.
Now- was Rush wrong?
Of course- I mean no one should be using this type of language.
But to hammer the Repubs on it- like they are responsible- heck- they don’t control the guy.
Then yesterday as I was musing on the thing- I thought ‘Tomorrow I’ll write on it- and I’ll use Bill Maher as the counter argument’.
Sure enough- as the day went on- all the shows already got to him.
Maher is the Dem supporter- who just this last week donated 1 million to Obama- he has had his show ‘politically incorrect’ [or Correct?] on HBO for years.
I really don’t like the guy- for a bunch of reasons- but he often uses real off color language when referring to Repubs.
Okay- WARNING- this part will get rough.
A few weeks ago when Tebow lost the game- Maher tweeted ‘Jesus f—ked Tebow’.
As you know- Tebow is the Christian Quarterback that is outspoken for the faith.
Sarah Palin- a book came out that said she once slept with a famous Black NBA player.
Maher made a comment- about a woman who ran for office- a politically active Repub- former Alaska Governor- who has kids- ‘she would have f—cked him too- if he was Black’.
He was referring to some White guy.
Speaking about a Repub ‘he can suck my d—k’.
Now- all these things- and more – were said on national TV.
This guy just made a 1 million dollar donation to Obama- as he made the rounds on the news shows- not one time was he- or Obama- or any other Dem asked ‘do you think you/he should apologize for these remarks’.
What if Rush spoke about Michele Obama like this?
That she would ‘f—k’ some guy if he were White.
Do you think that story would get covered?
The whole point is the media plays selective outrage- sure- all of this language is wrong- but Limbaugh does his thing- Maher his- and if you want to go down the road of making political figures responsible for what others say- then that’s a long road to walk.
This week I read Jeremiah chapter 33.
This chapter has some great promises in it- the famous verse ‘call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you know not’.
But the bulk of the chapter is God reassuring his people Israel that he will indeed keep the promise that he made to them years before.
A while back we covered the Old Testament and I said how you can almost sum up the whole O.T. by saying it’s the story of one man and his family.
That man was Abraham.
In Genesis chapters 12 and 15 we read about the promise God made to him- that if he left his home town and went on a journey to the promised land- then God would make him into a great nation- he would have kings sitting on the throne for generations to come- and they would be a great people.
Yet- at the time of Jeremiah the people were divided- they were captive- and things looked really bad.
In chapter 33 God tells them ‘do you think my promise will fail? If you can break my promise to the day and night- that day and night will happen every 24 hours- then you can break my promise to you’.
God was telling his people that even though things looked bad- yet he would fulfill his word- and bless them like he said.
One of the verses in the chapter even speaks to the divided nation accusation ‘some say these 2 nations will never be a great people’ and God rebukes that accusation.
As I look out over the terrain of our nation- and all the stuff ‘all of the above’ it does look at times hopeless- a whole week on some commentator calling a girl a slut- please!
Yet I still see some light at the end of the tunnel- congress and the President actually passed some stuff these past few weeks- stuff that seemed like was never going to get done- so yeah- maybe we can see the light right now.
But if a huge donor to the Obama campaign can get away with saying ‘Palin would have f—ked him if he were Black’ on national TV- and not one reporter asks Obama if he should ask Maher to apologize- then maybe we should dial down the rhetoric on the ‘slut comment’ a little- you think?
1801- LOVE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOUR SORRY- I THOUGHT.
Let’s end the week with a few top news events. Yes- once again we have had the burning of the Quran- and the violent aftermath.
What happened this time? Well- it was not an outright insult to Islam- like the Florida pastor who hosted ‘burn the Koran day’.
These Korans were part of a ‘detention’ library facility [gee- maybe that’s the 1st problem?] where prisoners have access to religious material.
They were available to Afghani’s who were being held as prisoners of war.
So- our side found possible hidden notes in them- and yeah- we burned the stuff.
Okay- was this a bad thing to do? Sure.
But the nonstop apologies- the reaction of Muslims rioting and killing- all over the world- not just in Afghanistan- this reaction needs to be condemned.
We are falling into a trap- a mindset that says ‘we will tolerate- and overlook intolerance- because after all- it’s not as bad as 9-11’.
Yesterday Iran was going to execute a Christian pastor because he refused to denounce his faith.
You say ‘yea John- but we condemn Iran anyway’.
But they do stuff like this in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain too- and these are our ‘good friends’.
I was watching a show the other night- it was a defense of Islam- against those who have a ‘crusade’ against it.
Though the show portrayed the people against Islam as bigots- they showed a few clips and interviews with a woman who was raised in a predominantly Muslim land- and she now lives in the U.S. and she feels that many in the U.S. media are overlooking the very real prejudices against women who live in these countries.
So- during the interview- intended to make her look bad- they ask her something like ‘but what about all the Muslims who reject violence’.
The reporter wanted her to commend those in Islam who reject violence [Muslim Brotherhood groups] yet still advocate for Shariah law.
The ‘radical’ anti Islam woman’s response ‘so- you want me to give credit to people just because they don’t want to kill me’.
The lady was right- she warns people against the rise of Shariah law- as the ‘law of the land’ and even though some of these groups are trying to achieve their goals peacefully- thru the ballot box- yet the end result is a society that executes Christians because they believe.
So as the week has passed- we have been apologizing nonstop- writing personal letters [Obama to Karzai].
Showing clips of our commanders instructing our soldiers to not react- to not ‘get upset’ that Muslims are rioting and killing them.
Look- we made a mistake- on the scale of ‘crimes against humanity’ the mistake rates at around zero.
Yes- we understand that to Muslims it’s a blasphemous act- and we did not do this out of disrespect for Islam.
But we must say- loud and clear- if your religion justifies the killing of people simply because they burn a book- or write a comedy sketch- or do any of a number of things that most of the civilized world do- then you need to either change your religion- or come up with a better interpretation.
Because we can’t all live in a world where stuff like this continues to happen- and we in the West seem to say ‘we understand your side’- no- when your side kills because of it- then we must condemn that side- whether it be Christian or Muslim.