Friday, December 30, 2016
My thoughts at the end of the year. I haven’t written since mid-year. I notice when I write so infrequently both my thinking and speaking diminishes in quality. I get wrapped up in video. Good stuff too, mostly. I got Curiosity Steam with endless documentaries. Great way to keep up with science stuff. I read Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, which was, like everything he writes, exceptional. It’s very much a history of science, and I liked going to Curiosity Stream and watching a documentary and see what he was writing about.
My reading this year was light. I finished the year reading Al Michael’s memoir. Great stuff, highly recommended. There were some Kevin Kearny mysteries, a couple religious books. Ivan Doig, one of my all-time favorites; read his last book he wrote before his death, Last Bus to Wisdom. A great finish to a great writing career. The list of my reading is off to the right. Noticing my reduced reading this year, and the lightness of the fare, I recognize the need, indeed the desire, to increase the literary, theological, philosophical stream. I’ve already started reading The Hemlock Cup [Socrates, Athens, and the Search for the Good Life] by Bettany Hughes. It’s not so much a book about Socrates or philosophy, though it’s there, but a history that gives a sense of place. What it was like to live in Athens in those times, and fleshing out some of the main characters. I’ll also be indulging in The Daily Stoic [366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living] by Ryan Holiday.
I have a lot of Cicero and Demosthenes downloaded; been sitting there for a while. Time to follow up on the intention, and actually read them. I’ve read bits and pieces of them, but not gone full in. The idea here is to immerse myself in that time, ancient western civilization. I've done this type of thing before, had a focus for a year. Not exclusively, but mostly. The Stoics very much have my attention. If there was ever a dismissed, overlooked, oversimplified group or philosophy, this is it.
There were no standout movies for me. Maybe "The Intern" with De Niro. It was a surprising and charming movie that actually praises men and the traditional man. I was surprised by it. The Sci-Fi was fun and met expectations, “Ben Hur” and “Risen” were solid religious movies. Movies I’ve seen too, off to the right. Spent a lot of time streaming vids. Binge watching. That’s something that needs to be modified. More time in the Kindle, less on the screen.
Politically the year was exhausting, in case you haven’t noticed. The hatred and violence spinning totally out of control. The vitriol. Who woulda thunk Trump would take it? Clinton, besides not being a likeable person, got buried in all her lies. Trump has hired a lot of good people, but also quite a few Bushies and RINO’s. The prayer is I hope they don’t get Trump to be “sensible and moderate” like them. Leftism. It’s a disease. How many staunch Conservative, TEA Party people, get to Washington and belly up in the Sea of Lies and Cowardice?
Church. Had my struggles this past year plus. As a reminder or to inform you that don’t know me, I’m a member of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. The national and regional leadership is all in on Statism, and has put worshiping at the altar of the State ahead of worshipping God, and align themselves with those wishing to destroy the Church and cripple Christianity as much as possible. That’s pretty much a big thing outside of my sphere, so all I can do is pray that God will intercede and they’ll once again put God first, and politics and the State way down where it belongs. I also had some personal confrontations that religiously and emotionally crushed me. There were many that surrounded and showed me true Christian love and support, and buttressed me until I recovered.
Now I’ve been asked, and accepted, to take a major leadership position in the Church at a level I’ve never done. I like being a small occasional voice of influence. This for sure will be different from the leadership positions in my jobs that I’ve had and have. I’ll have a good mentor, and many have come to me and said to let them know if there’s anything they can do to support me. I have a good pastor, good mentor, and a loving, caring church. How things transpire.
I traveled a lot last year. Trips to Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Colorado River, La Sal Mountains, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Wind River Mountains, and the topper was the Grand Tetons where I floated down the Snake River. While in the Tetons I saw mileage signs that Yellowstone was only eighteen miles away! Making plans for 2017.
I won’t be going to so many places this year. Tetons and Yellowstone and some daytrips around here. Nevada has lots of cool places away from the city. This coming year will be my year of being monastic (more than usual), studious (more than this past year) and Stoic (not the wrong way people understand it). And of course, do those things to improve my Christianity. My faith has never waivered. Christ is within me. We all can do better.
Unlike many it seems, 2016 was a good year for me. I wish all healthy happy holy 2017.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
I recently read an article by a guy, T L Jernigan ("On Anselm's God & the Virtue of Existing"-Touchstone), contrasting St Anselm and Nietzsche. The ideas here are his, I take no claim to them, only my response to the article.
Nietzsche we all know said God is dead. Anselm we don’t know so much about. He was the 11th Century Archbishop of Canterbury. His main thing was to prove the existence of God by combining science, logic and reason with experience and knowledge of the Divine.
He said, God is good, so reality is good. I remember a sermon or reading from awhile ago, that said at each stage of creation, God saw it was good. So what could be better than good?
Anselm: “We believe that you are the thing than which nothing greater can be thought…it is the one thing to have something in the understanding, but quite another to understand that it actually exists…And certainly that than which nothing greater can be thought cannot exist only in the understanding. For if it exists only in the understanding, it is possible to think of it existing in reality, and that is greater.”
Existence is good. It’s great in fact!
Then here comes Nietzsche, who considered existence horrible and horrid. It’s something inflicted on us.
Nietzsche: “Oh wretched, ephemeral race, children of chance and misery, why do you compel me to tell you what it would be most expedient for you not to hear? What is best of all is utterly beyond your reach; not to be born, not to be nothing.” Jeeeeez, sad to be him.
Life is tough, and maybe some sometimes would like it to end. Augustine thought: “while [the suicidal man’s] error make him believe that he will no longer be, his nature makes him wish for rest, that is to say, an increase in being. It is why, since it is impossible not to love being, the fact that we are must not be a reason for us to show ingratitude toward the goodness of the creator.” (Being and Nothingness) I'll just bet you Nietzsche loved persons and sometimes even life. I would suggest he loved life so much he spent his life trying to understand and explain it. Volumes worth!
Sometimes we just need a break. We need to lie beside still waters. God provides it when we need it. Nietzsche isn’t wanting a rest, he wants it all to end. Nihilism. Would one expect anything else when one thinks God dead? With God dead there is no redemption, no rest, only endless suffering.
Now we live in a Nietzschean world. Euthanasia is good. Abortion is good; what better than to snuff out existence before a soul is aware of it? Suicide is good, we’ll even murder you while telling you you’re committing suicide.
A universe created by goodness, surrounded goodness, inhabiting goodness. We are created in His image, and it is good. I’ll be anti-Nietzschean, thank you very much. I think one of the things that moved me out of Buddhism is that it’s nihilist. From nothing to nothing. Ultimately I couldn’t accept that.
John Paul II: “…the first and basic good for every creature…All other good derive from this basic good. I can only act while I am. Man’s multifarious works, the reasons of his genius, the fruits of his holiness are only possible if the man-the genius, the saint-comes into existence.”
I came from these ideas in the article heartened, and know that we mustn’t fall into Nietzschean thinking that life is horrible at its base, and it’s best if we snuff it out however we can. Sorry for the sad man, he’s a bad man.
We can’t whine as Christians, bemoan our plight; especially here in the New Amerika where it’s lawsuits, harassment and government suppression and threats, and we aren’t getting slaughtered like in the Middle East, or imprisoned/murdered like in China.
To back into our Christianity with just a taint of Nietzschean nihilism, or defeatism is to exhibit a weakened faith, a not serious belief of redemption. Not a serious knowledge that Life is Goodness and that God will not forsake us, Christ will return, and all we have to do is live scriptural, Spirit-filled lives.
Witness sensibly by showing understanding and talk to people from their perspective using their language, be careful of our words, listen to them (you have two ears and one mouth), be of service. James: “If you are wise and understand God’s ways prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.” By this way we can take control of the helm and move the ship of humanity back to God, by sharing the Good News.
Occupy Democrats, Lies, & Why I'm Unfriending Longtime Friends from Facebook Because of Their "Occupy Democrats" Posts
“Occupy Democrats” has this post. “So let me get this straight- He is a compulsive liar, he is a con man, he is a racist, he is a religious bigot, he is twice divorced, he robs American students with a fake university, he is a billionaire who pays zero taxes, he is a serial philanderer, he treats women like trash, he has the manners of a spoiled child, he is a failure in business with 4 bankruptcies, he has no military or political experience whatsoever."
If you'll remember the "Occupy" movement, it began with Occupy Wall St and that was followed by several other demonstrations. There was filth, destruction, abandoned babies, fights, murder and clashes with the police. Posts by Occupy Democrats are just blatant lies, like this one. This one is tame compared to many. I've 'unfriended' two people from Facebook, and about to do two more, maybe three. It may seem immature or whatever to 'unfriend' based on politics, but the hatred conveyed by this group, posted by people I respect and often have been long time friends, takes into a realm of political hatred and intolerance, lies and destruction I just can't stand. The horrendous ugliness of what they say is no less than the filth of any of the other things the Occupy movement has brought. I accept, even endorse discussion of any issue, but when faced with lies and hate created entirely out of imagination...how does one have a discussion? This is pure intolerance while claiming to be tolerant. They claim wanting diversity, but seek to destroy with lies anyone that disagrees with their ideas. Stalin would have loved them.
We look at the fabricated lies (nothing even slightly base on truth as any good lie must be) as if Dems are the practitioners of traditional values. Hillary headed the “Bimbo Eruption” task force to cover for serial philander husband, destroying several women’s lives in the process, including a rape by him; that he pays zero taxed is provable BS (this is nonsense like when Harry “Dusty” Reid claimed with no evidence that Romney had not paid taxes for ten years when there was published proof he had. As for treating women like trash, no women have come out saying so. No woman, like in her husband's case said she had been raped by him. Neither Obama nor H Clinton has any military experience. H Clinton’s political experience is riding on the coat tails of her husband. Like H Clinton’s not a liar? Will list below. What exactly has Trump lied about politically? The bankruptcies were all restructuring, no write offs I’m aware of. Really, divorce is a disqualifier? Damn puritan Democrats anyway.
H Clinton, that the Democrats want to elect president, has the cattle futures scandal, lied about and was not indicted. Rose law firm billing records that were subpoenaed and disappeared that showed up five years later that she lied about. Whitewater real estate scandal covered up and lied about, not indicted. Travelgate that she fabricated lies about the long time WH Travel office staff, got them fired and destroyed Billy Dale’s career (head of the Travel Office). There were never any documents supporting the claims of H Clinton. All the scandals, lies and perjury she's the source of would take a whole blog to cover.
The worst to my mind is Benghazi, 13 hours under attack and nothing done to help them, resulting the death of several Americans. Tens of $millions taken, while Sec of State from nations hostile to the US and put in the Clinton Foundation, her bank account or campaign coffers. While claiming to promote women’s rights, these nations stone women to death that were raped, they can’t leave the house without a male escort, can’t drive, have extremely limited education opportunities, and are murdered in honor killings. Anyone really believe there’s no quid pro quo there?
Then the $millions she gets from speeches to major Wall Street donors, while she at the same time attacks them for being so wealthy and greedy. Not that she’s a one percenter herself. She’s gotten $millions from this. Anyone really believe no quid pro quo there? Neither Islamist dictatorships nor Wall Street give money for nothing.
The estimated worth of the Clintons is estimated to be over $111 million. They earned this creating what? Starting what businesses? Employing whom? She call's Trump a business failure. What the hell has she ever done but be a corrupt political operator? The Clinton Foundations has assets of about $277.8 million. H Clinton won’t release the transcripts of her speeches, and their foundation isn’t a traditional charity, and it doesn’t meet any standards of accountability or transparency. No one know WTH is going on with that.
Then the email scandal. Used unsecured email servers while Sec of State, a Felony. Said she turned over 55,000 emails and deleted 30,000 that were personal. Several of those personal emails turned up later, and had classified info in them. (Some of the emails were intercepted by the Communist Chinese having to do with missiles that they used to modify their's to become more effective. There were a lot more felonies committed by her, listed by the FBI director, who concluded that since she didn’t intend to break those laws will not be indicted. So if you or I broke a law, and said we didn’t intend to, we’d be given a pass?
Sunday, July 10, 2016
I get this sense of doom, about Western Civilization, America’s constitutional republic, and Christianity. The end game is here, we’ve past the tipping point, we’re past the point of no return. The goodness of all these things have their foundation in Christianity. I read a comment a few months ago that Christianity has been in worse positions, and we will survive this too.We bemoan that traditional religious practices and churches are fading away. Well, there are a lot of them still going strong; let’s acknowledge that. For the rebels among us, what could be more rebellious or revolutionary than being a practicing, churchgoing Christian these days? Nearly half or more of Americans are hostile to and attack Christians. Much of it is government sanctioned.
I get so caught up reading, writing, talking about this hostility that until the past few days I hadn’t thought about the antidote. I rail about the zeitgeist of victimology, and it dawned on me that constantly laying out the attacks and things against Christians, that I was seeing myself and fellow Christians a victims. That’s not good.
I ask myself, who or what are examples of how to maintain one’s religion during times of persecution (though now in Amerika persecution is exercised through prosecution). Think about what practicing (or Orthodox) Jews have put up with; way more than we Christians, even taking into account the things ancient Christians suffered.
Those Jews were and are practicing their faith, living their principals, acting in accordance with Scripture. We Christians must do the same. A majority of Jews in America have put the State, worshipping it, before God. It looks to me that some, maybe a majority of American Christians have done the same (which I've railed about several times in this blog). Yet Jews through pogroms and the Holocaust remained steadfast. Scriptural Christians must do the same.
I started this essay about the sense of doom because so much is aligned against us. Part of the answer is from a Theodore Roosevelt speech, and many have heard this part:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
A must read if you’ve never read the whole thing here "Citizenship in a Republic".
Christians must be in the arena. We must be sure too that we live by Holy Scripture. Spending ourselves in a worthy cause does no good if we don’t live according to Holy Scripture, we only leave ourselves open to critics.
Our religious liberty is partly diminishing because we aren’t standing up to criticism and attacks. Those external forces attacking us are a part of it, but our playing the victimology card is not any part of the answer. The victimology card is what much of our culture plays now.
From scripture, James has some helpful observations. “Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”
When we deviate from Scripture: “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever. And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.”
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? And also,
“If the righteous are barely saved,
what will happen to godless sinners?”
So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.”
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
I have friends saying what’s the point of the fight? Major jerks gain wealth and power, which is always true since forever. But we have a constitutional republic here, and if enough of us reject the ‘we are doomed’ victimology, not all those voted into public office will be of the sort we have now. If enough in our personal lives publicly walk the Christian walk, we will influence enough people to turn this mess around.
What we are experiencing, mostly from outside the Christian community (and a little from within by those who listen to Screwtape), from James: “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
Pretty much describes our culture and politics doesn’t it?
Let’s change how we respond to that meme.
Peter: "For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls."
And this is the way, tough as it is, to turn this hot mess around.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “It is more sensible to be pessimistic; disappointments are left behind, and one can face people unembarrassed. Hence, the clever frown upon optimism. In its essence optimism is not a way of looking at the present situation but a power of life, a power of hope when others resign, a power to hold our heads high when all seems to have come to naught, a power to tolerate setbacks, a power that never abandons the future to the opponent but lays claim to it. Certainly, there is a stupid, cowardly optimism that must be frowned upon. But no one ought to despise optimism as the will for the future, however many times it is mistaken. It is the health of life that the ill dare not infect. There are people who think it frivolous and Christians who think it impious to hope for a better future on earth and to prepare for it. They believe in chaos, disorder, and catastrophe, perceiving it in what is happening now. They withdraw in resignation or pious flight from the world, from the responsibility for ongoing life, for building anew, for the coming generations. It may be that the Day of Judgment will dawn tomorrow; only then and no earlier will we readily lay down our work for a better future.”
Sunday, February 28, 2016
|Domenico Fetti The Sacrifice of Elijah |
Before the Priests of Baal
It’s quite clear in scripture there is one God. The apostles saw Him in Christ. If one believes in God, though I prefer ‘if one knows God’, then that is all the same God. Jesus said “He who sees me sees Him who sent Me”, and “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. The disciples, and others, saw “Him” eventually.
What prompted this are Christians not using discernment and seeing Allah and God as one in the same. I see “Allah” much as the ancient prophets saw false gods. In 1st Kings, there’s the showdown between Ahab and Elijah. Elijah had Ahab get all the people of Israel together with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah. Elijah stood before all these and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!’ But the people were completely silent.”
Muslims claim Allah and the Christian God are the same because both are descendants of Abraham. Think of this. Did Allah have a Son? God provided his only begotten Son. Did Allah sacrifice any part of himself for our salvation? Allah only sent a prophet, Mohammad.
Jesus was sacrificed. Painfully, and for a specific purpose. This sacrifice is not recognized in the Koran. Jesus is only a human prophet to Muslims.
Muslims can turn to God, to Jesus Christ for salvation. They have an option, “if the Lord is God, follow Him!’ Allah is as much a false god as Baal. Don't think Christians would want to take the option of turning to a false god.
Question is, if Muslims think it okay to slaughter Christians, to force them to worship their false god, how is it possible that god is the same as the Christian God? The apostles, the prostitutes, the tax collector and others that saw Christ, saw Him for what He is, and did not need to be forced. It is revealed. And we can see Christ revealed to this day, because he is a living Christ. And please Atheists, Secularists and anti-Christian bigots, don’t go back hundreds of years and say stuff about those Christians that forced people to convert to Christianity. You have a problem if you have to go way into the past to prove a point. The people that did that went against scripture, the Word of God. That was then, this is now. Christianity experienced a reformation, and have an improved understanding of scripture since then. Islam is stuck in the 6th century. No reformation.
Christians must make a distinction between the false god Allah, and the true God, manifested in Jesus Christ, who sacrificed Himself for our salvation. And we must talk and teach this, and be clear, so Muslims, Secularists, Atheists and anti-Christian bigots have this revealed to them, as Elijah revealed Baal and Asherah as false gods to the people of Israel.
Monday, January 11, 2016
I had always understood that resurrection meant bodily resurrection. One of those things obvious to me like the Trinity; Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In early Christianity, there were a lot of debates about the latter. How could three things exist in one thing simultaneously? For me, it just is, I just accept it and understand, mind to heart to soul, this is true.
The Gnostics posited that Jesus was a spirit body manifesting itself in the material world. To me, that makes no sense. To make the idea even more incomprehensible is the spirit body of Jesus imparted some kind of esoteric knowledge, gnosis (Greek). What that secret knowledge leads to is a way out of the material world.
Once accomplished, according to this idea, you become a spirit body, you escape the physical, material world. The physical world is evil, the spirit world is good. The Church Fathers found this heretical. I agree. It’s clear to me Jesus is exactly what He said He is. What He said is clear and means exactly what He said. No big secret here.
When I said I had always understood that resurrection meant bodily resurrection means just that, I’m surprised to find out that a majority of Christians believe, like the Gnostics, that resurrection is spiritual resurrection, the body is separated from the spirit. I’m thinking, really? How did that happen?
It’s been infiltrating Christianity for a long time. For about a hundred years, give or take, the idea that being resurrected means leaving matter/material/physical behind, separating from it has been growing. It’s an escape from materiality. From Houston Baptist University, a guy named Arthur Travis, in 1974 wrote: “The fact is, we shall not live in physical bodies after death…we shall not need or desire the things associated with our present physical bodies, simply because we shall not possess physical bodies in heaven.” So seriously wrong.
In the late 1990’s Time Magazine had an article stating a finding the two thirds of Americans did not believe they would have bodies after they were resurrected. It wasn’t clear to me if that was just Americans or American Christians, but either way, it’s disconcerting to me. There was a poll, Scripps Howard/Ohio University of “born again’ Christians, about 60% answered a question about resurrection, stating that it was a bodily resurrection. The rest, just a spirit was resurrected. It should be 100% of Christians should know beyond a shadow of a doubt resurrection is bodily.
It turns out many if not most of congregations are not taught about resurrection; the fact of resurrection has devolved into a belief like that of the Gnostics. Of course Secularists point out that Christians have “evolved” and don’t believe in bodily resurrection any more. From a book by Brian Innes Death and the Afterlife: “…current orthodox Christianity no longer holds to the belief in physical resurrection, preferring the concept of the eternal existence of the soul, although some creeds still cling to the old ideas.”
Of course the old ideas are traditional, orthodox Christianity, and any way to diminish those ideas is a good thing. Sadly, many people claiming to be Christians agree more and more with Secularists, and are less and less aware of scripture and the insights of the church fathers.
Yet, in the face of all evidence. We celebrate Easter, that there was the bodily resurrection of Christ. After His resurrection people touched Him, He talked, ate, drank, and on the road to Emmaus, Christ walked with the two men and was obviously at least semi-corporeal. We will have bodies like that when we are resurrected.
There are a lot of ancient Greek words that were misunderstood or mistranslated that have (partially) led to this confusion of what resurrection entails. Words meaning the soul, and not the body, got mixed up. For example “psychikos” was translated to mean physical when in fact ancient Greek speakers understood it to mean soul. It just became a mess.
I had read that at one time Pastors were more local theologians, personal theologians to their congregations. It got to be the Pastors ended up doing a lot of home visitations, taking care of church business and the like, that they were having to keep paring back their religious studies. That was the main contributor to the formation of the Diaconate; to free up the Pastor for the important thing, the religion. Keep the main thing the main thing if you will. Would that Pastors could go back to being local theologians, and maybe we wouldn’t have guys like Baptist Arthur Travis giving out wrong information. I hear what a lot of Pastors are saying and doing, and just get flummoxed. I’m just a layman, and good grief, there are so many Pastors violating scripture in deed and speech and what they teach.
Between incorrect translations, secular influence, congregations that have not been correctly taught, the pressure on Pastors, what resurrection really is has been distorted so much it doesn’t bear much resemblance to what it really is.
When I look at the bodily resurrection of Christ, and all the things Paul said about resurrection, it cements absolutely that we have a body after death. Heaven is a place God has designed, not for just spiritual beings to float around, but there still are challenges and growth, always growing closer to God, but when bodily resurrected, we will be in His presence. There is a plan and a purpose in heaven, and resurrected bodies to accomplish God’s purpose, joy and glory for all eternity.
Friday, January 1, 2016
It’s fortunate this past year was mundane for me. Nothing terribly impactful, painful, or upsetting. Those things in the small circle that I directly influence or am influenced by was ordinary and comfortable for the most part.
An exception was at work. I really had no direct experience with Millennials as a group until this past year. Heard stuff on the peripheral but didn’t pay much attention. I was given a new team. Part of my job as a team leader is to critique work and offer ways to improve. Most of this group were Millennials, and every bad thing I had heard about them proved true. This is the first time I disliked people as a group. Up to now there’s been dislike of certain individuals (and I’m sure vice versa), since I think it improper to lump people together for judgement or criticism. Millennials though, are so indoctrinated, so much a product of groupthink, they are essentially all of the same mold. With observing them, an individual must stand out and show there is something unique about them for me to see uniqueness. This just turned the way I relate to people on its head. They don’t take criticism at all, even when it’s worded, ‘this is what we can do to improve on this kind of situation’. They have zero respect for experience or authority. They are the smartest people in the room. Anything anyone has to say, other than praise (mostly unfounded) is rejected without consideration.
They expect to be only adored and praised, regardless. I send out motivational and life improving observations daily. I was providing feedback to a Representative and I said this issue ties right into a motivational observation I had sent out recently, and she said, “I don’t read them, I don’t need any motivation, maybe you do, but I don’t.' Here’s a woman in the middle of middle age, is on the edge of obese (for me a health issue), and does average work in an entry level job. She has shown no interest in improving her position or quality of work/life. This is what stunned me. All but a couple of people of about sixteen were like this.
Working with them, I’ve found they have no idea of history before the day they were born, no interest in anyone or anything beyond what directly impacts or influences them, have no interest in current events except maybe for the Kardashians or the Housewives of Wherever. Apparently there’s several Housewives of Wherever shows. They actually talk about these things, and importantly, as if there’s universal truths or insights into human behavior or something on these and similar “reality” shows. When I’ve actually offered up a true universal truth, from thousands of years of observation of human behavior, it’s rejected as stupid or untrue. I’m stunned.
I’m getting an inkling now of what the generation following them is like, and it’s even worse. There’s culture and social writers saying there’s a change, they’re more inclined to traditional modes of behavior or belief systems. Don’t know what those guys are looking at. College students getting University Presidents fired because they don’t like something allegedly said, “safe zones” where they don’t have to hear any alternative ideas to what their professors have indoctrinated them to believe. There’s a building at some university called “Lynch” which is the name of one of the founders of the university. They want the name of the building changed because “lynch” is, well, racist you know. There are petitions of remove the 1st Amendment, most specifically the freedom of speech part. Only they should be allowed to say what they want. The myth of white privilege. Universities are founded on the back of slavery and white privilege. It’s too stupid and crazy to continue. The “adults” should expel these knuckleheads. It costs a huge amount of money (the cost of Leftist greed, not an improvement of education) to go, and this is what the outcome is?
I’m so convinced this is the tipping point of Western Civilization in general and America specifically.
Part of the tipping point is a US President that has opened the borders, imports people from countries that are enemies of the US with no effective vetting process, illegally granted amnesty to millions that have invaded this country. He makes anti-Christian statements, but pro Muslim statements. He is an anti-Semite, and sides with terrorist groups against Israel. He has demonized Christians, Whites, Conservatives and Republicans, making race relations even worse that they were in the 1960’s. Hillary Clinton has violated dozens of laws, lied about them, been caught and still no trial, yet still getting massive support from the main stream media and her political party. Anyone else would be on trial or in prison by now. Bill, a serial abuser and exploiter of women, probable rapist, is given a pass. Black celebrity Bill Cosby did the same thing and is getting pounded, by the Leftist Jurassic Press and good Leftists everywhere. And there’s worse this president is doing, and in his last year of office it’ll be a full on blitz to destroy as much as he can that is good about America; its energy production, and the 1st Amendment, race relations, foreign policy to name a few.
Wacko Leftists and Islamist terrorists killing people, and it’s a gun restriction problem. I say wacko Leftists because reading the backgrounds of the mass killers, I don’t see any of them members of the TEA (taxed enough already) party, any church going Christians, no Conservatives, no Republicans, yet the Jurassic Press always starts out finding a way to blame one of these groups; often stating there are ties to those groups, then burying the retraction. Speaking of murder, Planned Parenthood is caught murdering babies and selling body parts and not only given a pass, but getting more government funding. Passed by Republicans no less. That and their supporting amnesty and open borders with the Democrats. And the Republican Establishment wonders why they don’t have the support of Republicans in flyover country? Good grief. Is there a measurement for how dumb those guys are?
This is heading in a direction I hadn’t intended so I’m pulling it back.
Movies I saw this past year. It was a weak movie year. Zombies and vampires and teddy bears oh my. My fav observation about Zombie movies I make, (given how I think about the Millennials and the following generation) is they are so popular because they identify with the characters. (Brain dead except for motor movements.) “American Sniper” was amazing, reverent and touching. The usual demented Leftists called it a movie praising murderers. The colossally fat, stupid one percenter Michael Moore leading the charge of insensitivity and stupidity. Saw the new “Star Wars”, and while it was fun, it was also overly PC. Small slender woman kicks ass on men that are trained in fighting and combat, that are bigger than her, flies spaceships for the first time better than trained pilots, knows more about the electronics and the engine of the Millennium Falcon than Hans Solo who’s ship it is and has been flying it for years and years…yeah yeah yeah. Had the same problem with the new “Mad Max”. Hardly anything to do with Max, most everything to do with the female character the story was actually about. “Bridge of Spies” with Tom Hanks I thought was good. I’ve read several reviews since by conservative reviewers that reviewed it as one of the worst of the year. Apparently I watched something different with the same title. “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” was splendid fun and I hope there are sequels, but for some reason I doubt it. My favorite movie was “Kingsmen: The Secret Service" which was stylish, clever, fun. Saw it when it came out and have streamed it twice since. Fun fun fun. “Unbroken” was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. Highly recommended. Bond movie was fun, but it’s time to fire Daniel Craig. He bad mouthed the movie, the production, the character. He’s made $millions upon $millions then criticizes the US, our lifestyle and our politics. Time to go hypocritical ingrate. Saw the “Age of Ultron”, a mistake. Super tired of all the comic book characters brought to life.
It turns out the most creative film is TV series. “Justified”, “Major Crimes” Agatha Christie’s “Perot”, and I know I said I’m fed up with comic book stories, but like “Gotham”, “Arrow”, “Flash”. For “reality” shows, “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives”, “Fixer Upper” (love love love that couple!), and a few others. “Blue Bloods” is amazing, especially since the family lives up to Christian values and ethics, has a family meal every week, prays together, is smartly written, and just enjoyable. All that and it has survived several seasons.
Read a few books. Best among them “Christianity & Liberalism" published in 1923 about how Liberalism is becoming the new religion in many churches. Sound familiar? "Jesus - A Pilgrimage” by SJ James Martin…fabulous Journey in the Holy Land. If you haven’t read Martin, pick him up. "Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World", we need to recognize God in the ordinary. Down to earth religious writing. Read some mysteries. Most fun book of the year was “Ready Player One”. Clever fiction, Dystopic future, with gamers, bad guys and the story is chock full of 1980’s references which is the most fun part. Easy read and highly recommend.
The list of what I read and saw at the movies is in the right column. Oh, by the way, if you want a good chuckle with classic rock ‘n’ roll, stream the “Minions”. A hoot!
For the upcoming year, I pray our church prospers and all get along, I don’t have to take any more grief from Millennials at work (I’m off that team, but we have many of that generation working here). I pray that the slaughter of Christians in Africa and the Middle East by IslamoNazis is stopped, that the imperialism of Putin/Russia is stopped, and Christians in this country stand up to the Secularists and the Democrat Party to protect freedom of religion. I pray Ted Cruz is elected President.
I pray for the health and happiness of all who desire it. Sadly there are many that find pleasure in misery. I pray these attitudes and beliefs that bring that on, is banished from their souls, and they find what is good in life, friends and liberty.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
When I was way young and liked a book or movie, got all excited about it, I was often stunned that someone didn’t like it. I just couldn’t believe how misguided, uninformed, dumb etc. a person was that didn’t have my taste or belief. “What’s wrong with these people”?
Of course I’ve grown up and out of that. When people ask me about a book, movie, restaurant, I’m reluctant to say they’ll like it. I’ll critique, but not think to push the idea that the person asking will like it. The exception is if it’s a good friend of a long time and I know their tastes.
That’s what I see Leftists as; immature people that don’t understand that others don’t want to live in a Statist world, top down control of economics, class, culture. They don’t understand or accept there are valid differences of taste and opinion. If one doesn’t think like them there is something wrong with the person that thinks differently.
I get frustrated and sometimes angered when Leftists are presented with cold hard facts and refuse to accept them. Show unemployment stats from the Labor Department that we don’t have 5% unemployment, it’s much higher…well, how can you possibly believe that? Published emails and leaked reports that “global warming” studies were modified to support the idea that we humans are raising the temperature of the planet don’t change their ‘feeling’ that there is global warming. When the false statement that religion is responsible for more deaths than any other entity, and one tallies those slaughtered by governments in just the 20th century is proof positive of the lie, well, how could one believe that? It just doesn’t feel right.
That slaughter was brought about primarily in Europe. They love Statism there; the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, Napoleonic domination by France, now the European Union. Centralized obedience to self-important knuckleheads that leak out of ivory towers with a lust for power and a rejection of those things that we know work. They reject what works for what makes them and their supporters feel good. So the Left here sees Europe as superior to the US since it ‘feels’ it is enlightened.
What ties that together is conformity. Groupthink. Europe is good despite its bringing us World Wars, Communism, Hitlerism, Nazism, Fascism, Stalinism, Socialism and all the rest of the Statist isms. All these claimed to be for the people, they’ll take care of them with universal health care, family leave, help the poor, and in fact they don’t. Claiming these perverse ideologies are feel good thoughts somehow make them superior to people desiring Liberty of thought and action. It feels good to support, top down, Statist conformity, to have socialized medicine, poverty programs and all the rest. No responsibility there, someone else is legislating that, so nothing personally has to be done.
Part of this is generational too. I came of age in the late 1960’s -1970’s. Marxist ideology ruled the day, along with sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll. Protest and speak against cops, corporations, capitalism, religion, and the rest. Most of us still ended up not only working for “the man” but becoming “the man”. That boomer ideology was brought into the institutions, weakening the things that created the most successful civilization in history.
We have ended up crony capitalism as bad as the day when railroads were stretching across America, or JP Morgan essentially bailing out the government…now the government bails out banks and financial institutions. Payoffs and payouts because a rejection of accountability, responsibility, rejection of Christianity and the embracing of Secularism, and the resulting top down Statism. Legislation is being passed, forced upon regular people that actually work and produce something. Legislation now is more about values and attitudes, enforcing intolerance and prejudices that produces conformity, rather than law that keeps people safe, structured and ordered.
Media, entertainment, education, government, business, even Church (both Protestant and Catholic) have devolved and embraced the Leftist “if it feels good do it” uniformity and conformity. Coming back around to my opening, all this conformity lends itself to groupthink, that differences are not to be tolerated, and speech must curtailed to fit the Leftist view of the world, in all human endeavors.
Like the immature young, how can you not like what we like? How can you not believe global warming is real, that Whites are all racist, that White cops are running around killing unarmed black men, that Christianity is evil, that government is good and the solution to the world’s ills? Thus the “safe zones” on university campuses that protect the literally young from any kind of different thought. It doesn’t feel good to have someone express a different idea. It doesn’t feel good to be criticized. It doesn’t feel good take responsibility for a mistake. It doesn’t feel good to be accountable.
I was once a Marxist that actually read and wrote about Marxism, was a political and cultural Leftist, and believed in my mind of minds, heart of hearts, this was Truth. I was a practicing, church going Christian from childhood through teenage years. I left that, then I thought I was a free thinker. Then I realized that I only knew the world based on what people that thought like I did said. I knew politics only by what fellow Leftists said and wrote. I knew the “news” only by what Leftist journalists wrote. I knew Christianity only by what Leftist/Secularists said and wrote. I returned to Christianity in my 40’s, began to understand what works, and now because of that, I’m a free thinker. It set me free. Set my soul free, my heart and my mind free.
At this point I understand Leftists/contemporary Liberals can’t be convinced of anything, regardless of the realities of our world, with provable evidence and facts. They don’t believe in a free society, a people based republic, free thought, free expression. Liberalism is a secular religion that is being offered and accepted as a replacement for traditions that work, Christianity and the personal discipline, sacrifice and personal responsibility that comes with it.
With Liberalism/Leftists it’s what feels good, not what is real and works, that passes for thought.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Not only a great singer, but a man of Faith.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Here's FDR's response. Even though he was a Statist through and through, and had more in common with Stalin than George Washington, he got it.
Here's the metro sexual coward talking more about the deficiencies of American Citizens than the threat to America and what really needs to be done about it.
Bush on 21 September 2001: "Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. ... From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. ... As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror; this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world."
Part of his lecture to over 300 million Americans that we should be tolerant and mentioned hate crimes against Muslims in America. Hate crimes against Muslims is something the president and his anti Semitic political party with their propaganda machine the Jurassic Press lie about..
Here are the FBI Crime Stats:
56.8 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.
16.1 percent were victims of anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias hate crime
6.2 percent were victims of bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
6.1 percent were victims of anti-Catholic bias.
2.5 percent were victims of anti-Protestant bias.
1.2 percent were victims of anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
11.0 percent were victims of bias against other religions (anti-other religion). (Based on Table 1.)
Flip that and we see 84% of religious hate crimes are not against Muslims. Even after 9/11 there were very few attacks on Muslims. So what hell is this religious bigot lecturing us about being tolerant? Ever ever ever hear him speak out against anti Semitic hate crimes that predominate in this country. Or the people who's lives and businesses were destroyed because they correctly affirmed their Christian faith.
This was a no news blah blah blah by a hater, coward and liar.
Last, this is my favorite response to Obama's blah blah blah Sunday night:
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Regan talks about liberty, sacrifice, gratitude and God.
Obama uses the occasion to make another political speech, this time promoting his pro-Islamist/Leftist immigration agenda. He starts with the lie that the Pilgrims were refugees. They were not. They were pioneers facing unknown dangers including disease, being killed by Indians, and often on their own dime.
I couldn't find Ted Cruz's audio or vid, so here's the text.
Obama uses the occasion to make another political speech, this time promoting his pro-Islamist/Leftist immigration agenda. He starts with the lie that the Pilgrims were refugees. They were not. They were pioneers facing unknown dangers including disease, being killed by Indians, and often on their own dime.
I couldn't find Ted Cruz's audio or vid, so here's the text.
“On this Thanksgiving, as we gather with family and loved ones, we celebrate the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us and this great nation. Particularly this year, as we face many uncertainties – from the threats of terror to economic hardships – let us take time to thank God for all that He has given us and ask for His provision in our lives and our country.
“When we think back to that first Thanksgiving in 1621, and all that the Pilgrims endured, only half surviving the first brutal winter, we remember sacrifice upon which this land was built – and the sacrifice that continues to keep us free and safe. In the struggle for independence, the brave motley group of soldiers defeated the greatest military force in the world. In the battle against slavery, the blood shed to purge this people from our original sin. In the World Wars, the thousands who fought in the trenches and scaled the cliffs of Normandy to save the American idea.
“We are grateful for all those who have gone before us and for those who continue to serve: for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who courageously defend our freedom. For the police officers, firefighters, and first responders who protect our communities. And for the pastors, teachers, and parents who guide us to know the truth, and be set free by it.
“And we remember President George Washington’s call in the first Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 226 years ago, to ‘unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions… to render our National Government a blessing to all the people… and to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.’
“It is this hope in a Higher Ruler that inspired the Pilgrims to leave everything in pursuit of freedom, and it is this same Providence that, if we call upon the name of the Lord, will restore the promise of America.”