Thursday, July 2, 2015

Over Togwotee Pass: Coming Into the High Country This Week

DON SURBER'S TWEET OF THE DAY

MY FINAL DESCENT INTO JACKSON HOLE TUESDAY EVENING was over the most beautiful highway of all: the almost 10,000' continental divide known as Togwotee Pass. I had driven almost 3,000 miles from Nashville via Houston and Laramie. This view was a sight for sore eyes.

As I drove over and down the pass, I stopped to check water levels and fishing conditions of some of my favorite tertiary tributaries of the Snake.  Then I called Marty. Water conditions up high all looking good. He, of course, already knew this and wondered, Where you been?

I replied, It doesn't matter,  I'm here now.

When I got  into the Valley, to my place, I was so tired, I fell into, onto the bed and went fast asleep with all my clothes on.  I must have slept for 10 hours without moving.   I'm just now beginning to come back to life again after two days.  Altitude adjustment and time-zone change are always a challenge.

I thank God to be here. I thank God too for the past several days of real down time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two Link's: Sexual Chastity In the Modern World and Greece's Fiscal Folly


AFTER BEING IN LARAMIE FOR THE PAST TWO DAYS,  I reluctantly soon leave people and conversations I have grown to love as I head for Jackson Hole through the Great Divide Basin.  Symbolism abounds in this last leg.  These people have truly become part of the fabric of my soul.  While some of us don't always agree on everything,  it's clear we respect each others principled stands enough to have broad, and more importantly, deep repartee on human sexuality as a part of the collapse of the family and also the relativism now so rampant in every aspect of our modern, post-Christian society.

Truly, if you're a social conservative, as I am,  you are witnessing the pulverization of the rocks of civilization into the shifting sands of anything goes-isms.  Everyone I talk to here knows a day of reckoning is coming and is deeply concerned. It won't be pretty.

I know that the decline of the family began decades ago with the so-called sexual revolution (abortion, no fault divorce and sexual permissiveness), and that gay marriage became a fait accompli years back.  Still,  I continue to mourn both our collective and individual follies and look for new, creative ways to go forward.

My new favorite writer on much of this is Rod Dreher whose book,  How Dante Can Save Your Life, I have bought, read and given to several others and also linked to him recently on Webutante at The American Conservative.

Today Dreher writes on a column by David Brooks on Sexual Chastity, a concept our fallen world deems as madness.  But it's not and never will be.  An excerpt:
Christianity, properly understood, takes a more holistic view of the human person. David rightly causes us to think of how few conservative Christians consider the role that economics and economic policy plays in breaking apart families and communities. But liberals, Christian and otherwise, fail to appreciate the extent to which abandoning sexual restraint results in broken families and broken societies. “Different beliefs about the universe lead to different behavior,” Lewis writes. The Sexual Revolution teaches something different about sex, the body, desire, and identity. Christianity opposes it — and Christian chastity cannot be isolated from the overall Christian conception of what the body is and who we are as incarnated eternal beings.

The point is, there is no way for Christians to undertake the task of nurturing stable families, as David correctly wishes for, without making the teaching of Christian chastity part of the mission. This is the one thing the world cannot accept — and in fact, finds a form of madness, indeed of bigotry.

I’m writing this moments after finishing a seminar discussion of Canto V of Dante’s Inferno, which is about lust as a distorted version of love. Because Francesca and Paolo construed lust as love, their sin led to violence — Paolo’s brother, discovering that his brother and his wife were sleeping together, killed them both — including the breaking of the family, and to the damnation of them all. Lust is one of the least bad of all sins in Dante’s conception … but it is enough to earn hell all the same.

The romanticization of sexual love is no new thing. But it continues to seduce us and to confuse us, and, along with economic individualism, has become on of the two dominant ideologies of our civilization.  This bad idea has consequences. The destruction of the family and the sundering of social bonds are among them.

ites on Sexual Chastity, a concept our fallen world deems as madness.  But it's not and never will be.  An excerpt:

Please read the whole thing. Next up, my friend John Tamny of Real Clear Markets and Forbes has a piece today on Greece. It's one of his best and, as always, he goes against conventional group-think and hand-wringing:
That Greece has been in default mode at least half of its modern existence reveals as silly the view that its debt troubles are scaring markets. If anything a default would be healthy in a normal world for it forcing investors into real ideas over government consumption. Instead, Greece's troubles scare investors due to bank exposure to the debt, Greece's anti-growth response to what is a slow-growth problem, and then the comically obtuse idea that the near-term answer to Greece's troubles is a departure from the euro. Not only will Greece never fully exit the euro, to do so would be as silly as Arkansas exiting the dollar in favor of a local Peso. RealClearMarkets.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Dramatic Statue of Chief Washakie of the Eastern Shoshone on the University of Wyoming Campus, Laramie


THOUGH I AM SHORT ON TIME TODAY,  IT'S FUN TO BRIEFLY POST ON one of the most renown historic figures of Wyoming:  More about Chief Washakie.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

God Has A Sense of Humor When I Don't

ROGER KIMBELL WEIGHS IN ON SCOTUS DECISIONS

SO HERE I AM UNDER THE FLATIRONS OF BOULDER CATCHING MY BREATH after a long, long drive from Houston (and Nashville) on my way to Jackson, Wyoming with a lot of sadness in the aftermath of the SCOTUS same-sex ruling on Friday.  At this point I am content  never to hear about any more of this news  of the past few days again....I'm sick of worrying about the Constitution,  the death of federalism, the over-reach of the federal government, the politicization of the silly high court and the potential loss of religious freedom...sick of it all at the moment.

But then, here comes God with His own brand of irony and sense of humor choreographing my next few days in a way I can't escape.  I'm hemmed in. God knows I've tried to escape...but so far to no avail.

So where am I heading later today?  To meet with my new best friend and gay author of The Book of Matt, Steve Jimenez in Laramie for the next several days.   There's no denying it---he's a man I have grown to love and respect since we met almost two years ago. We are meeting again to discuss our mutual friend Russell Henderson who's currently in a Wyoming state prison for two consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for allegedly killing Matthew Shepard. It was Aaron McKinney coming down from a meth bender who killed Matt in a drug deal gone terribly wrong.  Henderson, who was in the truck and was also beaten up by McKinney when he tried to intervene, never got a trial because the town of Laramie ran out of money and forced him into a plea bargain under threat of the death penalty. You can read all about it, if you choose.  The Book of Matt.


 More.

Meanwhile,  I left Steve a message yesterday that I didn't want to discuss gay marriage at all over the next few days--even over a glass of wine....or two...or a bottle (just a joke).

Why does God put me in these sort of untimely situations?  It's not funny and I still don't have my sense-of-humor back. But OK,  I'm going to see my great new friend and surely we can find something to talk about.... we're also going to spend time with Russell's dear, invalid grandmother and shower her with love, care and lots of attention.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sunday: John Piper On Lamenting the New Same-Sex Calamity

REDSTATE WEIGHS IN
WHAT YOUR CHURCH NEEDS TO KNOW AND DO AFTER THE SCOTUS RULING

I AGREE WITH PASTOR PIPER....THIS RULING IS A MASSIVE CALAMITY TO BE GRIEVED DEEPLY BY TRUE CHRISTIANS EVERYWHERE.

Beyond this,  we can only pray without ceasing for this once-great country now in warp-speed decline and the horrendous judgment that's coming our way  Those of us who truly fear God, know it's coming and pray for mercy and salvation for all.

Piper writes:

Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. Jesus created sexuality, and has a clear will for how it is to be experienced in holiness and joy.

His will is that a man might leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6–9). In this union, sexuality finds its God-appointed meaning, whether in personal-physical unification, symbolic representation, sensual jubilation, or fruitful procreation.
For those who have forsaken God’s path of sexual fulfillment, and walked into homosexual intercourse or heterosexual extramarital fornication or adultery, Jesus offers astonishing mercy.
Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
But today this salvation from sinful sexual acts was not embraced. Instead there was massive institutionalization of sin.

In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage.

The Bible is not silent about such decisions. Alongside its clearest explanation of the sin of homosexual intercourse (Romans 1:24–27) stands the indictment of the approval and institutionalization of it. Though people know intuitively that homosexual acts (along with gossip, slander, insolence, haughtiness, boasting, faithlessness, heartlessness, ruthlessness) are sin, “they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:29–32). “I tell you even with tears, that many glory in their shame” (Philippians 3:18–19).

This is what the highest court in our land did today — knowing these deeds are wrong, “yet approving those who practice them.”

My sense is that we do not realize what a calamity is happening around us. The new thing — new for America, and new for history — is not homosexuality. That brokenness has been here since we were all broken in the fall of man. (And there is a great distinction between the orientation and the act — just like there is a great difference between my orientation to pride and the act of boasting.)

What’s new is not even the celebration and approval of homosexual sin. Homosexual behavior has been exploited, and reveled in, and celebrated in art, for millennia. What’s new is normalization and institutionalization. This is the new calamity.

My main reason for writing is not to mount a political counter-assault. I don’t think that is the calling of the church as such. My reason for writing is to help the church feel the sorrow of these days. And the magnitude of the assault on God and his image in man.

Christians, more clearly than others, can see the tidal wave of pain that is on the way. Sin carries in it its own misery: “Men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:27).

And on top of sin’s self-destructive power comes, eventually, the final wrath of God: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5–6).

Christians know what is coming, not only because we see it in the Bible, but because we have tasted the sorrowful fruit of our own sins. We do not escape the truth that we reap what we sow. Our marriages, our children, our churches, our institutions — they are all troubled because of our sins.
The difference is: We weep over our sins. We don’t celebrate them. We don’t institutionalize them. We turn to Jesus for forgiveness and help. We cry to Jesus, “who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

And in our best moments, we weep for the world, and for our own nation. In the days of Ezekiel, God put a mark of hope “on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in Jerusalem” (Ezekiel 9:4).

This is what I am writing for. Not political action, but love for the name of God and compassion for the city of destruction.
“My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” (Psalm 119:136)

Tennessee Lawmakers To Introduce Pastor Protection Act In Special Session of Legislature

NEO: THOUGHTS ON THE RAPIDITY OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SEA CHANGE

ANYONE WHO THINKS THE SCOTUS RULING ON GAY MARRIAGE handed down this week will not affect religious liberty in this country is living in a dream or drug world. While it may not be apparent immediately, this ruling could have ripple effects on every aspect of our culture and religious lives in the months and years to come.

That's why two Tennessee lawmakers, anticipating this week's Supreme Court ruling, have been working hard over the past few months on the Pastor Protection Act. They plan to call a special legislative session in the House in the next few weeks and get it passed without delay.

Good for them. It will pass in Tennessee.

For the record, I am a traditional marriage woman and no matter what the Supreme Court has handed down, that will not ever change. That is a part of my bedrock Christo-centered belief system.

I would have much preferred to see SCOTUS rule in favor of government sanctioned gay unions which I could have at least stomached, especially in the state legislative process. But this I mourn.  I mourn for what's coming  for our country.  I mourn because I fear/respect God. The high court doesn't really have the right to tell religious organizations what they can and can't believe or do.

In effect, we now have a new federally-sanctioned religion of gay rights which is being crammed down all our throats. Actually, there is no stopping the moral decline of our nation at this point. From here---the federal legalization of same-sex 'marriage'--- we will see at warp speed the legalization of polygamy---the slippery slope begins--- then animal husbandry or people who demand the right to marry their children and gerbils.

 Dark times indeed are ahead for the relativism we are engulfed in.

Meanwhile,  let the freak show and confustion begin.

So, good for Tennessee for starting the ball rolling. It certainly won't be the only or last state to try to protect people and pastors from the heavy hand and over-reach of the federal government and judiciary. More.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Backyard Baseball In the PeeWee 7 League Of West U, Houston



THESE LITTLE GUYS---ALL WHO'LL BE 7 THIS YEAR---WORKED HARD THIS SPRING AMID MASSIVE RAIN DELAYS AND FLOODING to come back and take home the Pee Wee 7 League championship trophy for the Hammerheads.

Way to go guys!  Below is one of the Hammerhead's biggest, little fans.

A PeeWee coach teaches on the importance of keeping your eye on the ball.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

William Wilburforce: Persecution and Authentic Christianity

WILLIAM WILBERFORCE   EXPERIENCE TELLS US THAT PERSECUTION OFTEN HAS THE OPPOSITE EFFECT IT SEEKS TO PRODUCE. As Milton said in Paradise Lost, 'Her devilish engine recoils back upon herself.'  Authentic faith has always thrived under persecution.  During such times, it is not easy to be a Christian.  There are no lukewarm  believers, or half-hearted followers of  Christ in times of great difficulty.  The battle lines are clear during such times, and it becomes evident that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world.  The greater the difficulty, the closer it drives us to Christ.  Only in Him do we find refuge.  We truly become pilgrims and strangers.  We carefully examine and cling to the basics of faith.  They become an anchor in the storm.

Ironically, peace and prosperity have the opposite effect.  When all seems to be going well, we seem to forget we are engaged in warfare. The intensity of faith that gets us through the tough times tends to languish when life is easy. The Church tends to become assimilated into the culture and cultural Christianity replaces authentic faith. The distinction between Church and culture become blurred....

.....In times like we are now living in, ideas of radical obedience (to Christ) and self-denial fade into the background.  Even faithful Christians become soft and more tolerant of the moral decline of the world around them.......Only those principles or doctrines that fit with the general tenor of the culture are observed as common practice.  The truths that stand in stark contrast to the systems of the culture are almost totally forgotten.  This is especially obvious when these teaching confront the problems of pride, luxury and conformity to the culture.  Even the clergy seem afraid to tread too heavily on these subjects in their preaching for fear they will be regarded as fanatics....Christianity has become a  mere system of ethics which we do not embrace anyway.

-----William Wilberforce,  Real Christianity (Published in 1797)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Brooks Lake Creek Dreaming

AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE: DOWN WITH THE CONFEDERATE FLAG

CAN YOU HEAR THE RED-TAIL HAWKS SOARING ABOVE THE LAKE?
WAIT FOR ME, MARTY!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

YIKES! Could This Be the New Female Face On the Brave New $10 Bill?

WELL. IS IT SO FARFETCHED? In my opinion, the new face will be a black woman, but not a black trans-racial woman, if you know what I mean. Still, I think it would be kinda fun to have this image on a ten.
Below, please welcome Jack Lew, current Treasury Secretary explaining why Alexander Hamilton is getting the boot.   Lew makes absolutely no sense to me except this:  As the value of the dollar goes down,  our money more and more looks like monopoly money.

 More at Zero Hedge.

Charleston Victims' Families Need Our Desperate Prayers

DON SURBER ON ROOF THE MASS MURDERER

THE ALLEGED GUNMAN IS IDENTIFIED AS a 21 year-old kid who used meth, cocaine,  psycho drugs and mixes them with large doses of hate, ignorance  delusions of grandeur,  low-class hate and a desperate need  to be notorious.  This is not just a hate crime motivated by race,  it's an act of maximum evil.

We need to pray for mercy for the victims' families and friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and also for the terrible downhill direction our country is sliding.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jeb Slow Jams the News-- Bushwhacking Jimmy Fallon

FUNNY AND A BIT RISQUE. Proving nothing....except Jeb is fluent in Spainish---as he should be---and that with an interminable political season ahead and a gaggle of GOP candidates, it's good to turn off our brains and laugh a little before racing for the door and a good night's sleep. I'm completely neutral on Jeb at this point. BELOW, don't know why on earth the jamming-the-news video above made me think of Barry White. It's a mystery. Still without further ado, I give you the late great Barry White singing one his greatest songs:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Vanderbilt Beats Fullerton 4-3 In A Game That Started Last Night But Ended Today


WHAT A GAME!  What a turnaround! Vanderbilt beat Fullerton today in a College World Series game it was certainly not winning last night before lightning and rain shut it down.  The Dores got a reprieve today.  Details below:
MAHA, Neb. -- All it took was a little rain to keep Vanderbilt’s reign as defending national champions alive.

That, and some late-inning magic in the form of Jeren Kendall walk-off home run.

After trailing by three runs to Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, the game was suspended due to rain and lightning in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on third, two outs, and a full count on Zander Wiel.

“Certainly coming into today was a reset situation for us, and we kind of set it up that way,” said head coach Tim Corbin, who had his team switch from black uniforms to white uniforms. “We knew it was going to be a different scenario on mound and we knew we needed to attack and we responded very well.”

Read more.

Governor Cuomo's Massive Ego Overreach in the Still-Unfolding NY Prison Escape Caper



THIS TODAY FROM THE NYPOST--- Don't you just love that way egotistical leaders don't know when to stop micromanaging things that are not for them to do?  In the process, they cause failure after failure when all they wanted was to bask in their own glory before their adoring public.

Meanwhile, the escapees are taking full advantage of the mayhem Cuomo has helped created:

The massive manhunt for two escaped murderers from the Dannemora prison has been hampered by State Police secrecy, inter-agency rivalries, and the disrupting involvement of Gov. Cuomo on the first day of the breakout, law-enforcement sources have told The Post.

Cuomo’s surprise arrival at a still-unfolding escape scene a week ago Saturday generated considerable national publicity for the governor, but distracted investigators at a time when the full facts of the escape were not yet known, the sources said.

“Cuomo actually disrupted the early search efforts when he arrived at the ‘command center’ on Saturday and refused to enter the room until everyone was removed except state employees,’’ said a longtime law-enforcement figure who has regular contact with many involved in the search effort.

“Cuomo’s aides came in and threw out the US marshal, the sheriff [David Favro, like Cuomo a Democrat] and others who were there to help coordinate the search effort.

“And they did it without even saying ‘Thanks for your help,’ or such, just, ‘Get out so his highness can enter.’

“The State Police are trying to make sure that they’re the ones to catch these guys, that they get all the credit, and as a result, they’re not making full use of the assets that are available to them,’’ the source continued.

Several sources said they believe Cuomo had subsequently given orders that he be allowed to rush to the Dannemora area to take part in any press conference if the fugitives are caught.



Sunday, June 14, 2015

Photos With No Commentary Needed---What a Difference 8 Years Makes In Iraq

VIA DON SURBERhttp://donsurber.blogspot.com/2015/06/tweet-of-day_14.html

John Piper Discusses the Theologically Difficult and Controversial Mystery of Election From Romans 9

  

THERE'S NOTHING MORE DIFFICULT AND INFLAMMATORY IN OUR THEOLOGICALLY-CORRECT CULTURE than the doctrine of election.

Today most nominal Christians believe that all religions lead to the same God and in the end, all people will be saved.

Real Bible-based Christianity begs to differ with this false doctrine. There's nothing any of us can do to be good enough to earn salvation which comes by Grace alone, rather than works (though works come). In the beginning, middle and end, it is all God's sovereign choice as to who's elected (born-again) and who's not.  The eternal destination of each and every soul is God's choice alone.

 Even with this, the doctrine of election is shrouded in mystery and extremely difficult to grasp.  I surely don't grasp it all. Many people believe that a loving God would never send anyone to an eternity of hell.

Still, if we read the Bible, it's there over and over again, like it or not.

Piper: “God chooses who will believe and undeservingly be saved in spite of their sin.”

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Revolution! Seizing and Energizing Kurdish Culture Against IS---- Diva With Balls/ Bling, Guts and, Oh Yes, Sex Appeal

WHY AMERICA HATES THE GOP-OBAMATRADE DEAL
SS AT HIS BEST: OVERCOMING THE FEEL GOOD CULTURE

 READ THE WHOLE THING

ARBIL(IRAQ) (AFP) - HIGH HEELS, fatigues and gold rifle-shaped rings -- singer Helly Luv's blend of bang and bling has made her the most popular cheerleader for the Iraqi Kurds' war against jihadists.

She visits peshmerga forces fighting the Islamic State group, which overran a third of Iraq last year, and says she filmed her latest music video in Al-Khazr, not far from the jihadists' lines. "I want to give something to the peshmerga because I consider myself one of them," the 26-year-old singer told AFP in the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

"I wore peshmerga clothes in the song to support them." Her latest music video, for a song titled "Revolution," opens with a peshmerga fighter looking at a picture of himself with a young boy, presumably his son, as shelling and gunfire are heard in the background. He tucks the photo inside his helmet and goes to fight. A child screams and residents flee, but Helly Luv -- wearing golden high heels with a white and red scarf covering her face -- strides the other way to dramatic music, unfurling a banner before the tank that reads "STOP THE VIOLENCE." She sings and dances next to a car with "END WAR" spray painted on its side, but footage that includes peshmerga forces counterattacking and lyrics such as "We gon' keep on fighting" make clear she means the violence will stop once IS is defeated.
The music video hits on many themes that the peshmerga have sought to emphasise since the anti-IS conflict began last June, showing them as the brave, secular defenders of the innocent threatened by jihadist brutality.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Video---The Fallen of World War Two----An Animated Documentary

WHOLE FOODS MARKETS NAMES ITS SMALL STORE CONCEPT
The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

A STUNNING MUST-SEE. Know how many died? A shocking number beyond our ability to wrap our minds around. And then, the long peace that followed.

 I think the concept of war and peace is changing before our very eyes. Terrorism with weapons of mass destruction and drones as well as illegal, mass immigration are building an uneasy peace and different concept of wars now being waged and wars-to-come.

USA TODAY: Franklin Graham Defines Difference Between Gay-Friendly and Gay Lifestyle Promotion---Can Involve Voting With Our Pockektbooks

BEING GAY-FRIENDLY IS NOT OPTIONAL;  IT'S A COMMANDMENT OF JESUS TO BE KIND TO EVERYONE. HOWEVER, PROMOTING THE GAY LIFESTYLE IS NOT BIBLICAL NOR REQUIRED

By Franklin Graham:

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association did not decide to move our ministry bank accounts from Wells Fargo simply because the San Francisco-based bank is "gay-friendly." Indeed, the bank we transferred our accounts to — BB&T based in Winston-Salem, N.C. — is also widely considered gay-friendly.

In fact, it may surprise some to learn that I think every business should be gay-friendly. By that I mean businesses — like individuals — should be friendly to gay customers and citizens. We should be friendly to everyone, even if or when we disagree with them
.
Both of these national banks rank highly on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index — the organization's ranking of businesses according to workplace equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

So why did we move from one bank to the other? Because, in our view, Wells Fargo went beyond being gay-friendly to being a public advocate — through a national TV advertising campaign — for a lifestyle we, as a Christian organization, believe to be biblically wrong. (The ad featured a lesbian couple with their adopted child.)

Now, I realize our critics will be quick to point out three things: that our new bank, BB&T, has sponsored a Miami Beach Gay Pride fundraiser; that Wells Fargo was not advocating but merely targeting a segment of the general population for business; and that switching banks for this reason does not seem very gay-friendly.

It is true that a local BB&T branch in the Miami area hosted a fundraiser for a program called Legacy Couples, which recognizes same-sex couples who have been in committed relationships for 10 years or more; but the bank did not promote this program through a national advertising campaign (or we would still be looking for another bank).

As for the second criticism, if Wells Fargo had run a TV ad featuring a faith-based crisis pregnancy center, I am certain some "pro-choice" customers would object to the bank's advocacy of a position or organization they disagree with.

In a free market economy these things work both ways — as they should. We saw that in 2012 when LGBT activists called for a boycott of Christian-owned Chick-fil-A over the restaurant chain owner's personal views on same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, half a million others rallied in support of the company, giving it its single-best day of sales in company history and an overall record year.

I think there is a difference between being friendly and being a public advocate. By staying at Wells Fargo, we would not only be associating with the promotion of a lifestyle we believe to be wrong, we also would actually be helping to pay for the advertisements by virtue of banking with them — because a bank has no money to advertise with other than the money its customers place in its trust and the interest earned on that money. We simply chose not to continue doing business with a bank that is promoting something that violates our conscience and beliefs.

Third, being gay-friendly is not optional — especially for those of us who call ourselves Christians. Jesus himself issued an ultimatum in the New Testament Gospel of John: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."

By the same token, we are not called upon to accept or endorse anything that runs contrary to what Scripture teaches, which means we can oppose a TV ad promoting a home with an adopted child and lesbian parents while still loving those represented in the ad.

Finally, while I believe millions of Americans share my views on this matter and my beliefs about same-sex marriage, I also realize, based on polls and trends (and a pending Supreme Court decision), I might soon find myself in the minority. Even so, my position is not based upon polls or trends, political winds or Supreme Court wisdom. It is based upon God's word, the Holy Bible written more than 2 thousand years ago, and that document is not subject to amendment or revision.

Franklin Graham is the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

This piece appears in USA Today

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Reading From Acts 4: 1-12

PETER AND JOHN BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN (AFTER JESUS' ASCENSION)

ACTS  4   1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. 5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!

 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,  10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’[a] 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

+++++++++++++++

 Conclusion for commentary on persecution:

The dominant theme of this passage is one that is new to Acts, but not new to the Scriptures—the theme of persection. As we conclude, let me first of all attempt to summarize some of the “principles of persecution” which this text teaches us.

 (1) PERSECUTION HAPPENS TO PIOUS PEOPLE. Even when we are “Spirit-filled” and doing the will of God, persecution will come. Any prosperity gospeler’s promise to the contrary flies in the face of the facts of Acts. (2) PERSECUTION MAY WELL BE CARRIED OUT BY SEEMINLY PIOUS PEOPLE IN THE PRACTICE OF PURE RELIGION. Some of the most cruel and aggressive persecution that this world has seen has been carried out in the name of “religion,” often “orthodox” religion. We are surely taught to endure persection but never are we commanded to inflict it on others. (3) PERSECUTION FOLLOWS THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL. Men are naturally opposed to Christ and the gospel. When it is proclaimed, unbelieving man’s lifestyle and thinking is challenged. Persecution is often the result. (4) PERSECUTION TEMPTS US TO PLAY DOWN THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL. The Book of Hebrews, among others, is testimony to the fact that when the “heat is on,” the saints can be tempted to clam up. If persecution follows the proclamation of the gospel, then the saints may be tempted to be silenced. (5) PERSECUTION MUST BE VIEWED FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE. That perspective will include the sovereignty of God (as evidenced by the fact that He is the Creator of all things). It should also be viewed from the perspective of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who Himself was rejected and persecuted by His own people. In the final analysis, biblical suffering is suffering for His sake (cf. 1 Peter 2;18-25). Thus, experiencing persecution for His sake is a privilege that we can experience (cf. Colossians 1:24; Philippians 2:10). (6) PERSECUTION IS TO BE FACED VICTORIOUSLY BY THE CHRISTIAN, THROUGH THE MEANS WHICH GOD HIMSELF PROVIDES US. By His grace, and through His Spirit, we can face persecution with boldness and confidence, looking to Him to bear witness to His Word in His own way. Three of the principle means which God has given us to deal with persecution are praise, petition, and proclamation. (7) PERSECUTION CANNOT AND WILL NOT PREVAIL OVER THE GOSPEL—ULTIMATELY IT WILL ONLY PROMOTE IT. The disciples knew that men cannot resist the promises and purposes of God. Even their rebellion against Him will only further God’s purposes.

Thus, we can face persecution with confidence. For some, like the apostles, persecution was a very typical experience. For others, like the Hebrew saints (to whom the Epistle to the Hebrews was written), it was a threat. The writer speaks of some losses (cf. Hebrews 10:32-34), but not of any bloodshed (12:4). But to us, the threat of persecution is merely theoretical. The most we have to fear (in most cases and for the present time) is an uplifted eyebrow. May God give us boldness to proclaim the gospel, even if persecution were a very real possibility. May God give us the kind of boldness which precipitates persecution!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wheels Up To Triple Crown Victory for American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza At Belmont!

MONDAY UPDATE: WHY SO FEW ARE CASHING IN ON THEIR AMERICAN PHAROAH $2 TICKETS  

  

O HAPPY DAY! Congratulations to the owners, trainer and jockey of this great horse.

 Below, trainer Bob Baffert talks ahead of today's race.

 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Getting to Know and Love My Inner Bigot

I ALMOST CONSIDER IT A COMPLIMENT IN THE RARE TIMES (SO FAR) I'M SHOUTED DOWN AS A BIGOT.  It's the liberal left's latest addition to its lexicon of put-downs  like homophobic, racist, sexist,  science denier and so on.

Recently a friend called me a bigot with a straight face because I said I believe in what the Bible says about salvation. He, a catholic with a lot of  universalism throw in,  believes God will ultimately allow all men into heaven, especially good Muslims, even if they haven't accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and still worship Allah.  I quoted some Scripture before being verbally hung out to dry.  He sounded a lot like a theologian from the church of the New York Times as he wielded bigotism at me at warp speed.  I then dared to suggest he read the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, what I consider the greatest epistle ever written.  Suffice it to say this conversation did not proceed or end well.

Trust me again, because of his over-the-top-name-calling,  it was a shake the dust off your feet moment for at least now.

Anyway,  I expect to get that moniker more and more now, since it's come so back in vogue. Put-downs meant to intimidate one into political and religious correctness are part and parcel of the price of having beliefs and principles that you willing to defend.

Today, one of my favorite writers Stuart Schneiderman at Had Enough Therapy writes eloquently on yet another way we can get thrown into the bigot dungeon by the self-righteous elites who know better than anyone else about what constitutes reality and what doesn't  In Will the Real Kaitlyn Jenner Stand Up? Stuart writes :

We pride ourselves on being children of the enlightenment. We worship at the altar of the god of Reason and thrill to the reign of empirical fact. No vulgar superstitions for us. We believe in science. God help you if you do not.


But, we believe in science… but only up to a point. In the absence of traditional religion, we are building a nature cult. 

And cults have nothing to do with science. They have everything to do with belief and conviction. They are catnip for the gullible.

If you want to belong to the new nature cult you will be tested. You will need to show that you can accept propositions that are scientifically untrue.

If you believe that men and women are different, that their difference is based on reality, you will be expelled from the cult and sent off to live in the land of the bigots.

If you believe that Caitlyn Jenner is not every inch a woman, as much of a woman as Kim Kardashian you will be rejected from the cult and shunned as a bigot.

It’s almost as though Vanity Fair is testing our gullibility. We have been invited to gaze on the highly photoshopped picture of Caitlyn Jenner and to assent to the fact that she is all-woman.

The test seems to be how quickly and how fully you can declare your joy at the effulgent femininity of Caitlyn Jenner.

If you do not drop to your knees in awe at the miracles that plastic surgery can perform you are a bigot.
The really fun part of this piece is about Jon Stewart's comments on Bruce, I mean Caitlin, or  Kaitlyn? starting in smooth political correctness waters before suddenly hitting a class 4 rapids in choppy sexists waters:

Stewart began his riff by announcing that he is overjoyed to see so many people accepting Caitlyn Jenner as just another one of the girls.

It's really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman, but to waste no time in treating her like a woman.

We are all heartened to see Stewart, slightly tongue in cheek, jump on the politically correct bandwagon. If he had refused to do it, he would have been drummed off the air.

But, sad to say, Stewart managed to let slip an incredibly bigoted statement, that is:

You take away the corset and the make-up and I don’t know if anyone wants to bang her.

Horror of horrors, such flagrantly abusive sexism should not be allowed on Comedy Central. It’s a disgrace to define Caitlyn in terms of her availability for sexual congress… especially at a time when she is notably lacking in lady bits.

One might easily argue that Bruce is a modern day transvestite, more than transgendered.

In fact, Kaitlyn has been posed to hide the fact that she still has her man parts. One suspects that it took more than a corset to make her waist so wasp-like. Clearly, those cannot really be her hips. And also, Piade Solenni pointed out, her hands are hidden from view. The size of her hands would give the game away.
Yep, nobody is going to fool me into thinking what I cannot for the life of me think. So yes, call me bigot. It's there I stand, and can do no other.

Meanwhile, read the rest of Stuart's terrific piece.

And learn to do the bigot boogie.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BIG NEWS---I've Finally Decided to Transition Into a Man----A Secret Desire I've Had ALL My Life.....


WELL.  IF BRUCE CAN DO IT,  CAN'T I GO FOR IT IN THE OTHER DIRECTION?

Can't you  see me on the cover of Field and Stream next year in camouflage clothes, announcing my new name....John Wayne Webutante?

Don't we have to balance out global sexual orientation reassignments and transgenderism, for heavens sakes?!

I mean,  I like to fish, hike and eat red meat, as well as fish and chicken.  Shoot guns and red pepper spray grizzly bears.  Wouldn't life as a man be far better for me in the long run?

I could throw away all my hair paraphernalia, lipstick...  my skirts and silk blouses and beautiful paisley scarves.  Couldn't I bathe less and scratch in uncouth, secret places more with impunity?  Clip my toenails on my family's sofas?

I've been in prison---in solitary confinement---for decades over this secret desire to transition and now it's time to make my wishes known to the world.....

There's only one thing....ONE THING....that holds me back, just a tiny, little bit from fulfilling this wish to transition... A silly, small thing really, when you think about it..... It's my pearls...Yes pearls....somehow the thought of giving them up holds  me back just a bit....I guess I could wear them as a man, but it just wouldn't quite be the same....... But, HEY! don't worry!  With some feminist-gender-bending therapy and a few shots of testosterone,  I'm sure I'll resolve that issue soon.....

But then, the moral of the story could be that any woman who truly, truly loves pearls could never be anything but a girly-girl in spite of it all.


.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Apostles Creed Underlying All Reformed Christianity

UPDATE: ORDINARY CHRISTIAN WORK @ Tim Challies
PRAYING FOR THE BIDEN FAMILY FOR THEIR VERY SAD LOSS OF BEAU

I BELIEVE IN GOD, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy apostolic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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This beautiful creed is called the Apostles' Creed not because it was produced by the apostles themselves but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine "in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity." In its present form it is dated no later than the fourth century. More than any other Christian creed, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith. This translation of the Latin text was approved by the CRC Synod of 1988.

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UNIVERSALISM----DOES THE BIBLE SAY ALL PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY BE SAVED?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor.....

AFTER A LONG WEEK, WHO DOESN'T NEED A GOOD LAUGH FROM AN ITALIAN AUCTION? Can you say Ming Ping? Or, why you shouldn't put all your eggs in one ming vase. Thanks C, for sending.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Can This Possibly Be True? Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Becomes A Safe Haven for Drop-Off Newborns

FOR BABIES UP TO 30 DAYS OLD


 AN AMAZING STORY, IF IT'S TRUE. IF SO, THE PENDULUM IS SWINGING BACK.

 See for yourself.

Leading Indicator: Women After My Own Heart---Going Back To Clean, White Cotton Underwear with Greater Comfort and Coverage

A STEP CLOSER TO BANNING GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR RELIGIOUS ORGS? THE ANSWER IS STOP ASKING THE GOV FOR MONEY---GET OFF THE GOVERNMENT TIT!

WHILE WE'RE AT IT: GEORGE CLOONEY IS A FORMER STAR OF A BY-GONE ERA  
THE THE NEW/OLD CLASSIC FEMINISM?

JUST IN CASE YOU THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS COMPLETELY DOWN THE TUBES OF DEPRAVITY, here's a hopeful indication---from CNBC no less---that the pendulum may be swinging back to the right---and the classic side of womanhood including modesty and cotton comfort that their grandmothers used to embrace. Yikes! That could be me.

 What a relief that young women might be coming back to true value and the real and more enduring things in life!

Could it be that in the process of wearing white, cotton hip-huggers, these women could be transformed into more conservative sexual  beings who value their virginity and feminine mysteries more than quick-and-easy serial romps-in-the-hay?  And in doing so, might they bring up the value of their feminism and also traditional sex within marriage?


We can only wait and hope.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday

JUST A QUICK NOTE TO SAY I'm recovering from a nasty fall on the SoHo  last weekend.  I injured my left wrist when I tried to catch myself as I slipped on some very slick rocks as I exited the river and the coldest water I've ever been in.  Essentially I now have the use of only one hand, wrist and arm.  Pain has been incredible but starting to get better.  All those young weight lifters and baseball players I was with diagnosed my injury perfectly....and a doctor yesterday confirmed it.

I am very grateful that this wasn't worse.  Will be back at some point, but for now enjoying the rest and ibuprofen relaxation.  Doctor said to switch to ALEVE.

Above, the scene of the crime and the slickest river rocks I've ever attempted to traverse.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gone Fishing to the South Holston

 
DON'T KNOW IF I'LL BE BACK TO POST UNTIL NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING.  Have a good, safe Memorial Day weekend.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Assisted Suicide: One Woman's Journey From A Death Wish To Life

 FROM THE DAILY SIGNAL, a heartening story of one woman's decision to take the easy way out until her persistent, life-affirming physician persuaded her to reconsider her choice to die. Today, she is cancer-free and very happy to be alive.

When states legalize assisted suicide laws to help people to avoid suffering, we can never know how many people die prematurely and tragically.  All such laws---especially abortion----are over-used with unknown and often tragic consequences down the road to families and loved ones.

 One other thing that has always bothered me is the notion that all suffering in this life, must be anesthetized and eradicated. Life is tough and painful at times for all of us. But God can and does give our suffering meaning and context, if we let Him .