Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Flynn's Replacement Of McMaster As National Security Adviser Is A Steller Pick

KNOWN FOR CHALLENGING SUPERIORS
JOHN COOPER AT THE DAILY SIGNAL WRITES:
Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is a perfect fit for the position of national security adviser, and it is no surprise that his selection by President Donald Trump has delighted many in the defense and national security community.

Trump announced Monday night that McMaster will replace Michael Flynn, the retired Army general who resigned a week ago after he admitted misleading the vice president about the content of a December phone call with the Russian ambassador.

McMaster is a scholar-warrior, much like two fellow flag officers serving in Trump’s Cabinet—retired Marine generals James Mattis and John Kelly.

McMaster is a brilliant strategist who has devoted his Army career to understanding military history and helping America’s armed forces learn from the mistakes of the past in order to fight more effectively in the future....

Notably, McMaster wrote a 1997 book, “Dereliction of Duty,” which criticized top military leaders during the Vietnam War for failing to give their candid advice to the president and secretary of defense. 

As national security adviser, one of McMaster’s key roles will be to provide unvarnished advice to the president.

More recently, as commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment during the Iraq War, McMaster led U.S. forces in beating back an insurgency that was running rampant in the western Iraqi city of Tal Afar, where al-Qaeda had taken control.
Please read the whole piece. McMaster certainly seems like a very fine choice to me. I am especially heartened that he is a scholar, specifically an historian, as well as a warrior.  Hopefully, this job will allow him to apply his many skills and vast experience to the betterment of our country.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Milo Is Confused And Has Forever Crossed the Line With Me

UPDATE:  BOOK DEAL CANCELED BY SIMON AND SCHUSTER

WHAT'S THERE TO SAY EXCEPT A CONSERVATIVE, ANY SO CALLED-CONSERVATIVE, WHO PROMOTES PEDOPHILE SEX between a man and a boy, even an adolescent boy, has absolutely no credibility with me in any way, shape or form.  We live in two UN-parallel universes.  Never the twain shall meet.

Let me say it again.....Never, ever the twain shall meet. Sorry, but with this revelation including Milo's disgusting video, there's nothing left to say except it's disgusting and I'm done with listening to this man on any subject. Yes, yes, I understand he was a victim of pedophilia himself at the hands of a Catholic predator. It's doesn't matter. It's over for me. OVER. Get help, Milo and stop the incessant talk.
Good day. Good riddance.

It's also time, Breitbart cut Milo loose. No amount of explaining or rationalizing makes one damn bit of difference now. Milo needs to go to some kind of treatment program for the sexually abused or on an extended, year-long solitary hike in Scotland.

It's also pathetic how we on the right, including moi, gets so easily seduced. He's far too dark for me.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday: The Messiah, And Partnering With God Through the Covenants

DIAGNOSING SELFISH PRIDE: DO WE THINK WE'RE THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULES? THESE ARE GOOD OVERVIEWS OF THE BIBLE AND HOW WE CAN APPLY IT TO OUR LIVES TODAY.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wake Up Red States---The Empire Strikes Back By Taking Out Flynn Who Worked For Obama 4 Times and Will Stop At Nothing To Succeed At Destroying Trump

UPDATE: GOLDMAN DEFINES THE DEEP STATE AND WRITES ON BILL KRISTOL'S PREFERRING THE DEEP STATE TO THE TRUMP STATE

THIS NEW ADMINISTRATION AND OUR NATION NEED OUR PRYERS AND SUPPORT AS NEVER BEFORE WHILE OBAMA, CLINTON ETC WORK TIRELESSLY TO THWART ELECTION RESULTS.  THEY ARE NOT GOING QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT

FORCES OF MOUNTING MAJOR RESISTANCE AGAINST THE NEW TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SCORED A BULLS-EYE TODAY IN ITS TAKE DOWN OF MICHAEL FLYNN as the newly minted U.S. National Security Advisor.

 It's time Red State voters wake up to the reality of what just happened and the fact that this coalition consisting of the Deep Liberal State along with the MSM and the deeply embedded intelligence community will stop at absolutely nothing to fulfill its sole purpose of bringing down and destroying the Trump administration.
 
We conservatives need to get wise to this and understand it's only the beginning. Hillary, Obama and Kerry are working fervently behind the scenes.    I want to link to two pieces I think are well worth our time to read and digest before another days goes by:

First, Michael Walsh writes at  PJMedia: The Deep State Empire Strikes Back and it goes something like this:
With the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the face of a howling media mob, the knives are now out not only for other administration officials, but for President Trump himself. Make no mistake about what's happening here: this is a rolling coup attempt, organized by elements of the intelligence community, particularly CIA and NSA, abetted by Obama-era holdovers in the understaffed Justice Department (Sally Yates, take a bow) and the lickspittles of the leftist media, all of whom have signed on with the "Resistance" in order to overturn the results of the November election.

Mike Flynn, a good man who saw the enemy clearly, and had the courage to name it, saw Russia not as an enemy but a geopolitical adversary with whom we could make common cause against Islam -- and who also vowed to shake up a complacent and malfeasant IC -- was its first scalp, and an object lesson to new CIA Director Mike Pompeo should he have any reformist notions. As for the media, having previously failed to take down Trump aides Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, Flynn was the next best thing; their joy today is unbounded
.
Is this what you thought you voted for in November? Is this how you thought American democracy worked? Is this the country you want to live in?

Welcome to the Deep State, the democracy-sapping embeds at the heart of our democracy who have not taken the expulsion of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party lightly. They realize that the Trump administration poses a mortal threat to their hegemony, and so have enlisted an army of Democrats, some Republicans, the "neverTrumpumpkin" conservative die-hards, leftist thugs, Black Lives Matter and anybody else they can blackmail, browbeat or enlist. They mean business.
Please read the entire piece. I agree the Deep Liberal State means business and will stop at nothing to destroy Donald Trump and his administration---the sooner the better for them.

Walsh continues:
We're in the midst of a rapidly moving spy game here, adrift in the famous Wilderness of Mirrors, and with the major players switching -- or appearing to switch -- sides in a flash. The CIA has never forgiven Ronald Reagan for taking down the Soviets and spoiling its extremely cozy relationship with the KGB. The two agencies had long since worked out a modus vivendi, under which rules they both did their best to keep the Berlin Wall standing, Eastern Europe locked away, and the postwar status quo in operation; it was only when one side or the other broke protocol that civilians ever heard a thing about them.....
It's a well done piece and deserves to be read and taken to heart for what may be coming.

Another piece linked at ZeroHedge today and written by The Saker is  a little more hysterical, but is essentially saying the same thing: Entitled  'It's Over Folks' The Neocons and Deep State Have Neutered the Trump Presidency:

Less than a month ago I warned that a ‘color revolution ‘ was taking place in the USA My first element of proof was the so-called “investigation” which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump’s candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn.  Last night, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation.  Trump accepted it.

Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world.  That he was not.  However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump’s national security policy.  For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed.  Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council.  Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House.  Flynn also wanted to work with Russia. Not because he was a Russia lover, the notion of a Director of the DIA as a Putin-fan is ridiculous, but Flynn was rational, he understood that Russia was no threat to the USA or to Europe and that Russia had the West had common interests.  That is another absolutely unforgivable crimethink in Washington DC.
The Neocon run ‘deep state’ has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.


And Trump accepted this resignation.

Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking “stars” and even from European politicians.  And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back.  Nowhere was his famous “you are fired!” to be seen.  But I still had hope.  I wanted to hope.  I felt that it was my duty to hope.

But now Trump has betrayed us all.......

From now on, Trump will become the proverbial shabbos-goy, the errand boy of the Israel lobby.  Hassan Nasrallah was right when he called him ‘an idiot.'

The Chinese and Iranian will openly laugh.  The Russians won’t – they will be polite, they will smile, and try to see if some common sense policies can still be salvaged from this disaster.  Some might. But any dream of a partnership between Russia and the United States has died tonight.
The EU leaders will, of course, celebrate.  Trump was nowhere the scary bogeyman they feared.  Turns out that he is a doormat – very good for the EU.

Where does all this leave us – the millions of anonymous ‘deplorables’ who try as best we can to resist imperialism, war, violence and injustice?

Only time will tell if this writer is exaggerating.  I certainly hope it is.

I do think those of us who voted for Trump need to get wise, vocal and support and stand by him now, realizing the wolves and jackals are at Trump's and our nation's door and they're hungry and blood-thirsty.

They tasted blood today and hope for more tomorrow.

We better wise up and fast.  These angry, hateful people mean business.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lincoln's Providence---An Inspiring Message From Pastor John Piper

IT'S HEARTENING TO NOTE THAT GOD CAN DO A WORK OF SALVATION AND REGENERATION IN US AT ANY AGE AND TIME. IN FACT, GOD OFTEN USES PAIN, REAL HARDSHIP AND SUFFERING TO PUSH US TO THE FOOT OF HIS CROSS.

By John Piper


ABRAHAM LINCOLN, WHO WAS BORN ON February 12,  1809, remained skeptical, and at times even cynical, about religion into his forties. So, it is a most striking thing how personal and national suffering drew Linycoln into the reality of God, rather than pushing him away.

In 1862, when Lincoln was 53 ears old, his 11-year-old son Willie died. Lincoln’s wife “tried to deal with her grief by searching out New Age mediums.” Lincoln turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington.

Several long talks led to what Gurley described as “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln confided that he was “driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”

Similarly, the horrors of the dead and wounded soldiers assaulted him daily. There were fifty hospitals for the wounded in Washington. The rotunda of the Capitol held two thousand cots for wounded soldiers. 

Typically, fifty soldiers a day died in these temporary hospitals. All of this drove Lincoln deeper into the providence of God. “We cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.”
His most famous statement about the providence of God in relation to the Civil War was his Second Inaugural Address, given a month before he was assassinated. It is remarkable for not making God a simple supporter for the Union or Confederate cause. God has his own purposes and does not excuse sin on either side.

Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away. . . .
Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”
I pray for all of you who suffer loss and injury and great sorrow that it will awaken for you, as it did for Lincoln, not an empty fatalism, but a deeper reliance on the infinite wisdom and love of God’s inscrutable providence.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

At Cattail Cove State Park, AZ With the Sinners and the Saints



MANY WINTER MOONS AGO, I met the couple that would become my dear and lasting friends at a B&B in Everglades City, Florida. 

 We were all packing up to leave after breakfast when Peggy and I lingered over coffee and began to chat. Grumpy was eager to get on the road and told us to wrap it up, but we womenfolk wouldn't be deterred. We talked for another hour and at the end Peggy and I had made plans for me to stop to see them outside Denver, Colorado on my way to my summer home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and I had extended her an invitation for them to visit me in Wyoming. Since then, we've met in many places far and wide and it's like we've never been separated by time and distance. Guess that's the way it is with friends you love.

The moral of the story is you never know when you might run into a new friend in the most unexpected places. I consider meeting the  My Bad Influences a true blessing. Today we laugh and say our friendship extends from Everglades City to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and many places in between.... Who knows what's next. For now, we hike and play lots of UPWORDS, our favorite game.  They love to whoop my arse and do often.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hike to the Saddle of Vulture Peak, Then Getting Ready Soon to Meet Up With Mr. and Mrs. My Bad Influence

5 GREAT REFORMS TO EXPECT FROM NEW EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DEVOSS
A CHALLENGING HIKE IN SUNNY, CRISPLY COOL WEATHER IS SIMPLY THE BEST!  Only thing is I forgot to take some ALEVE in my little pack as a few aching muscles set in. But I had it in my car along with tons more water.  You can't take too much water in this part of the country.

Meanwhile, up in Jackson Hole, winds were so high and severe they knocked out all the power in Teton Village ski area....maybe for days.  Sounds pretty dire....It's the severest, snowiest winter in years, if not decades.  Glad to be out of the ice, wind and cold and in the sunshine.

Getting ready to see one of my favorite couple friends My Bad Influence and his long-suffering, besainted wife for some hiking and game-playing soon.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Psalm 31 And Window Rock, Arizona Monday---Capital of the Navajo Nation

WHERE'S THE OURAGE? IT'S THE DOUBLE STANDARD AGAIN--- OBAMA IMPOSED 19 IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS  INCLUDING 4 ON MUSLIM COUNTRIES THE DIFFERENCE IS OBAMA DID IT LESS VOCIFEROUSLY.
IT'S BEEN A VERY LONG TIME SINCE I WAS A GUEST IN WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA, CAPITAL OF THE NAVAJO NATION. Even now, it's like going to a foreign country. It's hauntingly beautiful though quite a culture gap from the world I know. I loved going there for a few hours today on my way to Wickenburg, AZ,  then Tucson.  It was chilly and very windy with spotty snow on the ground,  so when I dropped off the high, cold northern Arizona plateau at Flagstaff,  and down into the lowlands----a 5,000' elevation drop--- the warmer weather and sunshine made it a welcome place to be. I love Arizona at this time of year and with all the recent rain, the desert is green and teeming with life and more life.

I missed my usual Sunday post  this past weekend, so I want to add some Scripture from this morning's readings at OneYearBible blog on my sidebar.  Both are worthy of deep meditation and reflection:

Psalm 31[a

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
    as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
    but have set my feet in a spacious place.

Proverbs 8:1-11New International Version (NIV)

Wisdom’s Call

Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Fly Fisherman For the Supreme Court


WHAT CAN I SAY? HE'S A GOOD GUY. I see rising fish in the water behind him.. Five things we should know about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday---Lest We Forget Who's Really In Charge Of Everything

Psalm 24

Of David. A psalm.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.[a]
They will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, God of Jacob.[b][c]
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
    The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

March For Life Friday

TRUMP: PERSECUTED CHRISTIAN REFUGEES TO GET PRIORITY TREATMENT INTO USA ROE V WADE---JEALOUS GOD THAT DEMANDS BLOOD, NEGATES NATURAL RIGHTS
 WHEN ROE VS WADE WAS DECIDED BY THE SUPREME COURT IN 1973, American citizens soon discovered it was never intended to be the end of the story. It was just the beginning of our country's willingness to enable behaviors many of them didn't believe in and found reprehensible. Early-term abortion was soon extended to mid-, then late-term abortion which was essentially murder. On top of that, tax payers were supposed to pay for this as well as all woman's contraception products. Then American taxpayers were expected and committed to paying for abortions in foreign countries for heavens sake. Women demanded the 'right' to be enabled without shouldering any of the cost or responsibilities of their actions.

Taxpayers and lawmakers have continued to enable this nonsense and infantalizing of women for decades.

Today the pendulum is thankfully swinging back in the direction of life and personal responsibility as it should have long ago.

While I doubt abortion will ever be outlawed across the board, perhaps now a woman's right to choose can be extended to choosing  more caution and knowing she will have to pay for the outcome if she doesn't get what she wants.

This week, a Tennessee legislator has introduced a heartbeat bill which makes abortion illegal if a fetus has a heartbeat. It would make the window for that procedure smaller than the 24 weeks (six months) now proscribed by law. Abortion on demand in Tennessee used to be a national destination  for anyone in the country who wanted a quickie. Hopefully that is ending soon though many legal challenges will be ahead.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why Trump Was Compared to the Old Testament Prophet Nehemiah During the Inauguration


IT MIGHT BE INTERESTING AND INSTRUCTIVE TO GO BACK TO OLD TESTAMENT TIMES and see why a pastor at Trump's presidential inauguration this week compared our new president to the OT prophet Nehemiah.

Nehemiah, you recall, was an Israelite living as an exile in Babylon in 444 BC and cup bearer to the king, whom God directed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall surrounding the Temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC. While I think comparing Nehemiah to Trump at this point is a bit of a stretch, it's still interesting to recall the ancient wall that Nehemiah rebuilt against all odds. It remains to be seen if President Trump follows in Nehemiah's footsteps, but I certainly hope and pray he does.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Liberal Puts Her Extreme Fear of Trump On Paper With Byron Katie

FASCINATING, TRAGIC AND FUNNY HOW WE HUMANS CAN TAKE OURSELVES INTO SUCH MENTAL HELL AND CRAZINESS. Doing this work is better than a woman's march on Washington, in my opinion.  Again, most of our suffering is all about our thinking and has nothing to do with what's happening in reality. We play fake news tapes in our head, often over and over again. Amazing how this woman transforms her thinking and starts to give up her suffering. Laughing at ourselves and our utter insanity is healing. This is a brilliant session and well worth the time to watch, whatever your political leanings.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Magnificent, Peaceful Transfer of Power In the United States Today

THE FEDERALIST:  TRUMP'S SPEECH= WAR ON THE RULING CLASS...
DON SURBER:  FOX ADDS NIGEL FARAGE
SWEET AND GRACIOUS...
SPENGLER: DONALD TRUMP, AMERICAN HERO
A TRULY STUNNING DAY FOR AMERICANS. It is a time for celebration, but not for complacency.
May God's Grace rein in our country and this new administration. God have mercy on America. God bless America.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sorry, Mr. President-Elect, The Dollar Is NOT Too Strong

EVEN SOME OF Donald Trump's biggest critics have bought into the weird narrative about how his rhetoric represents the feelings of the "forgotten" and "dispossessed." That's kind of odd stuff in a country as rich as the U.S., and it's especially strange when Trump's talking the very tariffs and currency devaluations most inimical to the economic prospects of those with the least.  Mercantilists and witless economists talk up the falsehood that devaluation stimulates exports, but even if true, it would still defeat the sole purpose of work: to import from across the street and around the world.  To import is why we get up each day, and devaluation by definition shrinks our ability to do just that.

---John Tamny,  RealClearMarkets.  

This is a good piece by John Tamny on Trump's false economics of devaluing the dollar to improve the economy.  I agree that this is a silly idea.  To wit:
Do the average people (that Trump wants to help) realize that Trump wants to devalue the dollars they work for each day? Where’s the media coverage of this? Trump, the alleged populist, is out to devalue the dollars earned by common people who frequently lack the hedging knowledge to mitigate government’s theft of their earnings.  Some would call it a scandal.
While the president-elect talks a good game about the importance of economic growth, talking down the dollar measure amounts to fakery.  To believe it works is as silly as a real estate developer believing he can command more for his properties by devaluing the square foot.  This is not the stuff of a serious country.
I confess,  I have to agree with Tamny on this: Trump is commiting a big boo boo to talk down the dollar and it hurts the middle class worker he purports to help because they're paid in dollars.   Why, praytell would he want to devalue their paycheck so it will buy less, rather than more?

Hopefully, Trump will come to his senses about this soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday---Four Reasons to Slow Down

I SAW THIS ARTICLE BY JON BLOOM SEVERAL DAYS AGO, and for some reason it really impacted me.  We live in faster and faster lanes always intending to slow down----some day.  I want to post this today, calling attention especially to the fourth point:  We can only love what we linger over.....I have come to believe that this is one of the wisest and truest points I've ever learned.

But first, the link to Bloom's article here. Please take time to read it, because it reiterates that more is not the same as quality, depth and transformation. I need to hear and remember that again and again. It's one of the reasons I've taken some time off writing this week.

While the points that we Christians are pursuing transformation and not just more information and real growth takes time and patience are foundational,  I think the one about lingering over the things we love is the most salient for me.  Bloom writes:

4. We cannot love what we do not linger over.

And we cannot know what we do not comprehend. Lingering, by definition, takes time. Comprehension requires time-consuming concentration and meditation. This is true in nearly all areas of life. And the implication is that the real or perceived societal pressure we feel to get more and more things done, and process more and more information, can be an enemy to real love and true learning.

  I will be meditating more next week on this wisdon.  And focus more on quality rather than quantity, slowing down and contemplating things that strike me as important.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday---Becoming A True Christian

ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN MUST BASICALLY SURRENDER TO THE UNKNOWN AS MARY AND ABRAHAM DID. Becoming a Christian is not like signing up for a gym; it is not a "living well" program that will help you flourish and realize your potential.  Christianity is not another vendor supplying spiritual services you engage as long as it meets your needs at a reasonable cost.  Christian faith is not a negotiation but a  surrender.  It means    to take your hands off your life.  John Wesley's "Covenant Prayer" expresses it well:

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing,  put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or  brought low for thee.
Lee me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

....The call to theologically grounded, willing, glad, surrender is the most radically countercultural summons possible in the modern Western world that values personal autonomy over all things.  Readers, therefore might feel overwheolmed at this point....

The pentiultimate is to recognize that if we commit ourselves to God, we can trust that he is committed to us.  Jesus once asked his disciples, "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a smake instead." (Luke 11:11) He then reasoned that God is infinitely more generous than earthly fathers and will "give the Holy Spirit" to anyone who asks. (Luke 11:13)


----Timothy Keller,  Hidden Christmas, pg 93-94

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The White House Today

73 MILLION UNDER WINTER STORM WARNINGS A BEAUTIFUL DUSTING OF SNOW AND SILENCE FOR RENEWAL AND REFLECTION IN PREPARATION OF THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD SOON IN WASHINGTON, D.C..

Excerpt From U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander's Latest Email

January 6, 2017 - 

I’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU some of what I’ve been working on in Tennessee and Washington recently:

January will be a busy month in Washington. The committee that I chair will be holding confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees for Secretary of Education and Secretary of Labor. We are moving immediately to provide relief from the Obamacare emergency that has the Tennessee exchange “near collapse” and is forcing Tennesseans to pay 44 to 62 percent more in health insurance premiums. I believe Congress and the Administration should work to repeal and replace at the same time, and to avoid the historic mistakes of Obamacare, replacement should be implemented step-by-step to minimize disruptions and make sure the changes in the system work well. 

*******

A good, brief report on the things that matter to Tennesseans. We are especially concerned about out-of-control health care premiums and the 'near collapse' of the state exchange.  We all need and want relief from this terrible law as soon as possible.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bye Bye Megyn, Hello Tucker

THR:  KELLY ENDS HER RUN AT FOX AT HER BEST
WHATEVER THE REAL REASONS FOR MEGYN KELLY'S MUCH HYPED DEPARTURE FROM FOX NEWS,  I sincerely wish her well.  She's been a feisty, talented, great loooking  news host/anchor who's become perhaps too much of a star in her own right over the past year to be just a plain old TV journalist anymore.

But never mind. She says she wants better hours so she can spend more time with her family.  I certainly don't fault her for that.  Still, her going  away from prime time at Fox and onto daytime at NBC is unfortunate for her fans.

I for one simply don't watch daytime TV and can't remember even turning it on before 6 pm over the past 35-40 years.  Never watch the morning shows, though I do listen to early morning radio----WSM---for news, weather and country music thrown in.  Actually,  I watch very little television. I sure won't be turning it on for Megyn.  So from my perspective,  she's peaked, career wise, and will have to scrounge up a completely new audience to boost her ratings at NBC.  I keep reading that daytime TV is brutal and I can see why.

Good luck to her as I say goodbye.  And best wishes to clean cut Tucker Carlson who looks like he came straight off the cover of the St. Albans School Alumni Magazine.  Have seen him a couple of times and like what I see just fine.  Should be an interesting rotation.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Few Hellos and Goodbyes For 2017

KLAVAN: FOR CONSERVATIVES SHORT-TERM OPTIMISM AND A LONG GAME

HELLO, ICEBERG LETTUCE WEDGE SALAD

FIRST AND FOREMOST,   THE DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU GOING OUT AWARDS GO TO..... President and Mrs. Barack Obama,  Secretary of State John Kerry,  former President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, investor and perpetual liberal agitator George Soros and various other lesser-known, assorted poupous like former Rep. and Mrs. Anthony Weiner,  to name a very few.

In their place, please welcome fans of the Trump Wedge Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing as a first course.  Please also welcome the more elegant but greatly pared down Inaugural Day Festivities and Parade participants, so the movers and shakers in the new Trump Administration can get down to business from the Get-Go on Day One.

Beyond that, here are some other predictions I have to add:

***Expect the stock market to go up  a little longer, then down and stay mostly down for the rest  of 2017 by Inauguration Day on January 20, as all the good news has already been factored into the political and economic equations and markets will be waiting for the implementation of  many of Trump's campaign promises.

***Expect Obamacare to be partially repealed. Still, voters will have many more options for health insurance and health care across state lines.  Patients with pre-exisiting and hard-to-insure conditions will be subsidized with taxpayer monies, rather than by healthy people who are hog-tied in health exchanges for the purpose of subsidizing others.

***Expect illegal immigration to slow to a trickle.  It will be first on the agenda of the new Trump administration.  Immigration from countries that foment terrorism will be shut down completely until a process is in place to insure these people can be documented and kept tabs on while in the U.S.  A Wall/Fence of some kind---physical or electric---will begin to be built.

***Expect tax breaks for corporations to allow for the creation of more jobs which will in turn create more taxable income from the newly employed.  In many cases this will create more tax revenues on all levels of government.

***Expect the unwinding of many of the massive regulations binding taxpayers both on the federal and state levels to all aspects of government.

***Expect the Middle-East  to continue to be the globals inferno though the Trump regime will pick its battles and allies carefully.

***Expect a complete and continuing media meltdown as President Trump circumvents the normal channels of news and communicates directly with the people via Twitter and YouTube. Expect Paul Krugman at the NYTimes to have at least 10 nervous breakdowns over the next year-and-a-half.

There's more, but for now, have a happy, healthy 2017!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome to the New Year Sunday: Resolutions Are Not Enough

PASTOR PIPER EXHORTS US TO BE DEVOTED TO PRAYER 
THIS IS A GOOD FIRST-DAY-OF-JANUARY PIECE ON WHY NY RESOLUTIONS ARE NOT, ARE NEVER ENOUGH and how we can make a dent in our desire to change and grow.

By David Mathias @ Desiring God
 
 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS  can be an important first step, but they are a far cry from real, lasting change. The ringing in of a new year brings with it the possibility of a fresh start, or at least a fresh reminder to turn the page on some (or many) ways we’d like to grow and mature in the next season of life.

But haven’t we all tried this enough times by now to know how futile mere resolves are if not accompanied by more? Whether it’s eating and exercise, or Bible-reading and prayer, the God-created mechanism we call “habit” is vital for seeing our earnest resolutions through to enjoyable realities. If we really are resolved to see our hopes for 2017 become life-enriching habits, we will do well to keep several basic truths in mind at the outset of a new year.

1. Focus on a Few, Not Many.

Better than big emotional, private resolves about the many things you want to “fix” about your life is dialing in just one or two realistic, and really important, resolves with a concrete plan and specific accountability. The excitement of a new year, and ease with which we can desire change, often leads us to bite off way more than we can chew for a new year. It’s much better to focus on just a couple new habits — even better, just one. And if you’re going to narrow it to just one (or maybe a couple or three), you might as well make it count. Identify something important that will give your new-habit-forming particular focus, even while this one resolve will reap benefits in other areas of your life. Soul-strengthening “habits of grace” are precisely this. Going deeper in God’s word, prayer, or your local church will produce an invaluable harvest. Consider a specific focus for the new year, or just the first three months of 2017, or even just January. A year is a long period of time in terms of habit-forming; typically we would do much better to just make one resolve at a time, and do so every few months, than to attempt many things and for so long a period as twelve months.

2. Make It Specific.

Bible intake, prayer, and Christian community likely are too broad in and of themselves. Give it more specific focus like reading the whole Bible this year, or not just reading but daily meditating on a short passage or verse, or even just a word or phrase (in context). Don’t keep it general at “prayer,” but make it more particular: private prayer each morning, or bedtime prayer with your spouse or family, or punctuating your day with “constant prayer,” or some new prayer initiative as a community group or church.

Perhaps as the old year is coming to a close, you’re realizing how spotty your church commitment has been, and how thin your relationships are as a result. You might resolve to deepen your commitment to not neglect your meeting together “as is the habit of some” (Hebrews 10:25), whether that’s making Sunday mornings more nonnegotiable or prioritizing your midweek investment in life together in community group. Resolve in 2017 not to let silly last-minute excuses keep you from faithfully gathering with the body of Christ, which will be a priceless, long-term means of God’s grace both to you and through you, to others......

Read Mathis' full article.
 

Biggest Movie Duds, Best Films of 2016

ACCORDING TO THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER HERE ARE BIGGEST BOX OFFICE BOMBS AND MONEY LOSERS OF 2016. It certainly wasn't Brad Pitt's or Warren Beatty's best year.

Meanwhile, writer and movie critic Rex Reed gives his Best Films list, starting with Casey Affleck's highly acclaimed Manchester By the Sea and ending begrudgingly with a half nod to the musical La La Land.

Rex Says of Manchester: This is haunting, life-affirming filmmaking you will not forget. The details, the observations, the nuances, the revelations—they all add up to a masterful narrative structure and a beautifully textured reality I cannot praise highly enough.


Reed pens:  I had high hopes that 2016 at the movies would be like every other year—they’d save the best for last.  Sadly, no miracles occurred and it went down in history as one of the sorriest years ever. Blame free internet streaming, pretentious critics who abhor anything with a plot, new kids on the block who don’t know how to make movies with flair, focus or narrative continuity, the death of style, the growth of alternate TV programming, or any of a number of other alarming factors. The fact remains, movies are no longer what they used to be and nobody cares. Some observers predict the cultural force that informs our development from the advent of childhood is already a thing of the past. The year that just passed is such convincing proof that I found it a challenge as daunting as a degree in aeronautical physics just to form a 10 Best List. You won’t find such critical favorites as the deadly Moonlight or the seriously overrated mediocrity Toni Erdmann on it, and my begrudgingly last-minute inclusion of the flawed, uninspired, unoriginal and creatively disappointing La La Land  is merely a half-hearted attempt to support the rebirth of movie musicals. So it was a penurious year....

Monday, December 26, 2016

Peaceful, Stark Winter Afternoon

CLASSIC TRUMPISM: UN JUST A 'CLUB' FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME
HAD ENOUGH THERAPY:  SHOULD WE WITHDRAW FROM THE UN? 
IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST CHRISTMAS DAYS EVER mainly because it was low-keyed. Everyone seemed to bring a good attitude and a gracious, giving spirit to every get-together.  Christ our savior is/was central to the reason for the season. A jolly-good time was had by all.

Today it's been warm and windy outside after freezing cold temps last week. It's a nice break from winter.  I couldn't do much more than clean, sweep up and go for a good afternoon hike.  Tonight, an early bedtime with prayers of thanksgiving for so many blessings.  Simply wonderful as quiet comes to the country outside Nashville.  Believe me,  it won't be quiet for long, so I'm going to enjoy the down time as much as I can over the next few days.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

My Favorite Neighborhood Christmas Lights


JUST DOWN THE STREET IS SUCH A LOVELY REMINDER OF THE CENTRALITY OF THE HUMBLE BIRTH OF CHRIST IN A MANAGER.

Merry Christmas and God bless.


Take it away Martina.....

 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

No Matter What Your Age, Race, Profession, Your Political or Sexual Orientation--- A Creep Is Still a Creep and A Monumental, Immature Bore

WALSH: THIS IS WHY WE HAVE THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

THAT IVANKA TRUMP IS A CLASS ACT WILL BECOME MORE APPARENT AS TIME GOES BY.  But the unhinged harassment episode of her by a couple of crazed political lefty cry babies and narcissists early this morning on a JetBlue flight from Kennedy to San Francisco was beyond the pale.

Evidently shouting, 'Your father is ruining the country....!' this man and his partner were kindly and quickly escorted off the plane, as they should have been, by JetBlue.

Ruining the country already?  Really?

The wretched bitterness and immaturity of these hateful people says a lot more about them than it does anything else.   Trump needs to provide increased protection immediately to his daughter and her family in light of this. Because many of these unhinged people are probably too immature to get a grip anytime soon. Maybe they should consider moving to another country.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Today, the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere---Most Intense Time of the Year

IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE, IT'S THE MOST INTENSE TIME OF THE YEAR, when emotions are exaggerated: sex and sexual attraction the most intense,  marriage issues the most stressed,  job dissatisfaction at yearly highs, yearnings for things and finances to be more, better and different are all at their peak.

Today, the lady from my Shell gas station where I sometimes buy gas and a good cup of coffee with a chat about the state of the world looked at me forlornly when I asked how she was doing and if she'd gotten her 9 grandchildren handled for Christmas----we'd run into each other in  Dollar General a few weeks ago shopping for kids stuff:

My nephew killed himself last week, and I can hardly do anything but cry, I'm so depressed..... 

I was utterly dumbfounded and speechless. I, I am so, so sorry to hear this.

She went on,  He has a wife and two little kids.  They were having some marriage problems and had separated....he was on something for depression.....We were all waiting for him to come to our family dinner last week and started calling and calling...there was no answer, so my brother went to his house and found him.  He hung himself....

A terribly sad story any time of the year, but especially now. He was known and loved in his community...some said he didn't have an enemy in the world.....except, of course, himself.  If only we could hang on to the reality that no matter how dark, how bleak things seem in the  moment, when the chips are down and the days are short,  the light will  eventually come back and shine to heal and encourage us, if only we let it.  Far too many people, especially young people, give up to the despair and darkness far too easily these days when better days are just around the corner.

Tomorrow, December 22, the day will be just a minute or two longer than today, the shortest, most intense day of the year.  We can thank God for small blessings.  And hang on each and every day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Trains In Winter

GOOD GRIEF IT'S COLD!  But starting to warm up a tad.  Be back later.

It's official...Donald Trump is the 45th POTUS.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

700 Years Before Birth of Christ, Micah Prophesies This Supernatural Event Would Happen in Bethlehem

 

PROMISED RULER FROM BETHLEHEM---ONE OF MANY SINCE GENESIS

[a]Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”
Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.
He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

---Micah 5:2-5

*******

THIS BELOW FROM TIM KELLER'S NEW BOOK, HIDDEN CHRISTMAS:

BUT IT TOOK CENTURIES, MILLENNIA before the angel came to Mary and told her about the child she was to bear, and she sung, 'He has...remembered to be merciful to Abraham...just as he promised our ancestors.' (Luke 1:54-55)  The promise was a long time in coming!  In fact, in the four hundred years before Christ was born no prophets were sent to the people, let along a messiah.  It looked like God had forgotten them.  No one was coming, it seemed.  But then he came.

You cannot judge God by your calendar.  God may appear to be slow, but he never forgets his promises.  He may seem to be working very slowly or even to be forgetting his promises,  but when his promises come true (and they all will come true), they always burst the banks of what you imagined.

This is one of the main themes of the nativity story, and indeed the Bible.  Look at the story of Joseph in the Old Testament (the brother with the coat of many colors who got  sold by his other brothers into slavery and taken to Egypt).  For years it seemed like God was ignoring Joseph's prayers, letting him experience one disaster after another.   But in the end it became clear that every one of those things had to happen in order for all to be saved.  Joseph was even able to say to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery, 'You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.' (Genesis 50:20) Look at Jesus, being called to heal a fatally ill girl but stopping to deal with someone else instead and allowing Jairus's daughter to die.  His timing seemed completely wrong----until it became clear that it wasn't (and Jesus raised the young girl from the dead!) (Mark 5:21-43).

God's grace virtually never operates on our time frame, on a schedule we consider reasonable.  He does not follow our agendas or schedules......


----Keller, Hidden Christmas,  excerpts pages 34-36

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Kitty At Dawn

WE'RE BOTH EARLY RISERS.....