Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday: The Books of Kings---Or Running the Divided Nation Into the Ground In Spite of God's Repeated Warnings


THE TWO BOOKS OF KINGS present a history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of King David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years (c. 960 – c. 560 BCE).  It concludes a series of books running from Joshua through Judges and Samuel, which make up the section of the Hebrew Bible called the Former Prophets; this series is also often referred to as the Deuteronomistic history, a body of writing which scholars believe was written to provide a theological explanation for the destruction of the Jewish kingdom by Babylon in 586 BCE and a foundation for a return from exile

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cindy Crawford and Caitlyn Jenner Could Be Twins

THIS IS WILD, EVEN CREEPY---BUT I THINK CINDY CRAWFORD IS A DEAD RINGER FOR CAITLYN JENNER IN THE PHOTO ABOVE. Always thought Crawford was fairly beautiful. But now that I see her as a Caitlyn lookalike, I'm no longer sure I like her looks and the purple satin blouse is not becoming.  While I'm at it, think Cindy's hair is too long and could use a good cut.   Ditto,  Caitlyn.


Friday, October 21, 2016

I Get Miffed, Then Receive A Brilliant Response From A Guy Friend----If Only Every Man Was This Wise, Funny and Savvy With A Woman, Including Trump



Great to be home.

However, just as I returned today, I was confronted with something that upset me greatly from a chance encounter at the grocery store. While it's beside the point to bore anyone with the details, let it suffice that I was hurt, angry and completely baffled as I left the conversation.

Later I sent another man friend  I considered responsible for the mess a text message something to this effect: Big D, Just ran into X coming out of the grocery and learned that blah, blah, blah....I am deeply hurt and baffled and hold you both responsible. It was an inexcusable over-sight on both your parts.

Within a few minutes I received his brilliant reply:

Call you in a bit so you can chew on my ass. As you know I'm just an inconsiderate SOB as I've always been. (Followed by a couple of hilarious guy symbols).

His response was so brilliant and disarming that I couldn't stay angry at him for long: He wanted to talk and put himself in the line of fire and my ire, rather that being silent or turning tail and running.  He wanted to listen to a raving maniac while at the same time being self-effacing.

My kinda guy. 

 He called a few minutes later and while I tried to be a little mad, I just couldn't get a mean on even though he had been thoughtless and we didn't gloss over the issue.  It ended up being such a civilized conversation that before long, we were laughing and ready to move on.  He  offered me a ride on his plane anytime he and his wife---also a dear friend--- fly to D.C., NYC or Florida. While that was more than a generous gesture on his part, and one he had made before, it was really not necessary.

What turned the tide completely for me was his disarming, charming, take responsibility response.

Now if only Donald Trump could have learned that with Hillary Clinton. It just might have turned the tide of history.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Reflection

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no
one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and
little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket
or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless,
airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable,
impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside Heaven where you
can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.

— C. S. Lewis,
The Four Loves, chapter 6

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fall On the Potomac

NEO: AMAZING AIR BATTLE---A MUST WATCH! LEAVES ARE ONLY STARTING TO CHANGE HERE IN D.C. But it's cool and crisp and everywhere I look there's gridlock.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday, How Can Believers Enjoy the Thought of Being In Heaven Knowing Loved Ones Could Be In Hell?

By Tim Challies:

Heaven is far too perfect, far too sinless, far too other for us to imagine in our fallen minds. Our attempts to put brush to canvas have led to depictions of cherubs on clouds, idyllic colors of dawn, Christ as a blinding light, a faceless adoring throng. Some of these attempts to capture heaven’s splendors are beautiful and even captivating, yet we know they are also incomplete. They are, at best, the barest reflection of what awaits. Our imaginations must always fall short of heaven’s glorious perfections.

Revelation 21:4 assures us that in heaven God himself will wipe away our tears, that there will be no death, no sorrow, no crying, and no pain. There is a deeply comforting certainty in our future—a certainty of joy, bliss, comfort, peace, love, and perfection. However, those of us with non-believing family members and friends can find this certainty an area of intense struggle. Why? Because we know that not everyone will be there with us. Many we love today will have an eternal experience of pain, torment, and separation. How could we ever enjoy heaven if our loved ones are in hell? R.C. Sproul tackled this question at a Ligonier Ministries conference years ago and I appreciate his answer.

Sproul begins by recounting a humorous moment from his seminary days. After attending an event in which a speaker unabashedly tore away at Reformed doctrine, young Sproul, disturbed by what he heard, quipped to his professor, “If John Calvin would have heard that sermon, he would have turned over in his grave.” His professor gravely responded, “Young man, don’t you know that nothing can disturb the felicity John Calvin is experiencing right now?”

He reflected little on their interaction, but shortly after heard that same professor’s answer to how a Christian can enjoy heaven knowing of loved ones in hell: “You will be so sanctified that you will be able to see your own mother in hell and rejoice knowing that God’s perfect justice is being carried out.” Sproul’s knee-jerk reaction was to scoff, even laugh, at the lunacy of such a statement.
At face value his professor’s answer felt wrong, insensitive even. However, if we can be certain that our future in heaven is one of undisturbed joy and that at the sight of God’s perfect justice our hearts will cry in adoration, nothing, not even the just fate of the unsaved friend or family member, will disturb our gladness.

Why, then, does our knee-jerk reaction match Sproul’s on this side of eternity? Sproul provides three answers:

We do not know God. That is, we do not really know God. We do not know him as he actually is. We especially don’t know him as the God who is holy, holy, holy. In fact, we are often even offended by his holiness, as if it is an ignoble or capricious trait. We cannot imagine how we could be content in heaven while loved ones are in hell because our knowledge of God is too small.

We do not know ourselves. We do not know God as we ought but we also don’t know ourselves as we ought. Try as we might, we remain oblivious to how truly heinous our sin is, how truly filthy we are in the sight of God, and how incredible our salvation is. It is so human for us to sin that we may even feel as if God is somehow obligated to forgive us. We need better self-knowledge—the kind God gives by his Spirit through his Word. We cannot imagine how we could be content in heaven while loved ones are in hell because we do not know ourselves as well as we ought.
We do not know what glorification means. The last link of the Golden Chain of Romans 8:28-30 is glorification. Though we tend to focus most on predestination and justification, they are simply the means to that great end of glorification. We ought to long for the day when we are glorified, when we and everything else is purified of all traces of sin. Heaven is so much more than the absence of death and deterioration—it is also the absence of sin. 

Can you imagine a place where there is no sin? Do you look forward to a place of no sin? That is our hope! We cannot imagine how we could be content in heaven while loved ones are in hell because we think too little of the beauty of glorification.

Until we are glorified, our sympathies will rest more easily with human beings we love than with God—his glory and perfect justice. But as Sproul explains in his talk, “once sin is removed from my life… and I love the Lord my God with all of my heart and all of my soul in undiluted perfection, my compassion, my love, my concern will be much more for the vindication of God’s holiness than for a corrupt fallen kinsmen of mine.” 

And so we pray for the lost, we share the gospel with them, we plead for their souls. And all the while we trust in the God who is good and who does only what is good.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

D.C. McCallister Puts the Latest Trump Brouhaha Into Historical and Amoral Context----Knocks Ball Outta the Park--With All the Bases Loaded

I AM SLOWLY GETTING OVER MY over- reaction to the latest Trump scandal and starting to put things into somewhat better perspective.  Nothing  in  Donald Trump's disgusting man-talk 11 years ago is defensible.  Nothing. Nor is it surprising since ultra powerful, wealthy, unscrupulous men like he and Bill Clinton are babe magnets for ambitious, beautiful and overly available women in a world awash in easy sex. Power and wealth are indeed the most powerful aphrodisiacs in the universe since the beginning of time.

Both Donald and Bill have drunk lavishly for decades at the font of easy women, easy sex.  Men like these are opportunistic sexual feeders and women they bed do their part to fall over themselves letting themselves be used as sex objects/toys. 

Without doubt, the best thing I've read since this story broke is D.C. McCallister's scathing piece @ PJMedia posted in full below. Please take time to read it and weep--- especially if you're a believing Christian--- as we review once again how we got here to this slippery slope.  We're all guilty and complicit as to where we are today:


THE WIZARDS of smarts in the political arena are telling us Donald Trump's campaign is over because of recently leaked tapes of a private conversation from 2005 that was disparaging to women. The comments are so offensive, they say, he’s not fit for office.

From the moment the tapes were made public, the drumbeat to Trump's personal walk of shame began. Politicians who formerly endorsed him fled in terror, not wanting the soiled stain of sexual stigma attached to them. NeverTrumpers descended into we 're  holier-than-thou glee as they declared how noble and right they've always been not to support such a despicable man. And the left has been howling like puritanical wolves, condemning him for his immorality and sexist treatment of women.

I find this reaction to Trump's private conservation rather ironic. It's ironic coming from a secular culture that long ago declared objective morality dead. It's ironic coming from politicos and media bottom-feeders who defended the abusive and disgusting behavior of Bill Clinton, not when he was a private citizen but when he was a sitting president.

It's ironic coming from a Republican political elite that has told its religious base that social and moral issues don't matter in politics. "It's all about the economy, stupid. Leave your morals in the church but don't voice them in the public square."

The creep of moral relativism in America has been steady for many decades, increasing in speed to the point that the "slouching toward Gomorrah" has become a sprint. The notion that there is objective truth or absolute morality has been universally panned to the point that everything is tolerated except standards of right and wrong. "Everyone decides for himself what is right, especially when it comes to sex" is the mantra of today's culture.

For years, Christians in particular have been attacked and silenced as they've tried to challenge the immorality that is pervasive in today's society. When they tell people casual sex is wrong, they get the inevitable, "You have no right to tell me what I can or can't do." If they oppose sexual immorality in any form, including adultery, they’re maligned as sanctimonious puritans by lovers of libertinism.
How ironic, then, that a culture which rejects moral standards has suddenly become so pure and pristine, sitting in judgment of someone they deem too immoral to become president because of something he said in private. As a logical person, I have to ask these paragons of newly found virtue where this standard by which they've judged Trump is found.

If morality is relative to each individual—a purely subjective experience—by what standard are they judging Trump? Obviously, in such a secular climate, there can’t even be a “standard.”
Why should anyone listen to people who out of one side of their mouths declare the death of objective moral standards yet out of the other condemn someone for violating objective moral standards?

Those who are complaining about Trump today have no basis for their moral outrage. That's because their secular amoral worldview rejects any basis for that moral judgment. Any argument they make against the "immorality" of Trump is stolen, or at least borrowed for expediency, from a religious worldview they have soundly rejected.

The fact of the matter is that Judeo-Christian ethics have been driven from our culture and declared a dinosaur from an ancient past. Right and wrong, virtue, morality, goodness—these have been rejected in pop culture, our education system, the media, and politics. We have been told repeatedly that character doesn't matter because everyone's values are different. All that matters is an ideological agenda and the power that goes with it.

It was this mentality that fueled the defense of Bill Clinton in 1998 when the world discovered the truth about his illicit affair with a subordinate, Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, who had been accused repeatedly of abusing even raping women—all defended by his wife, Hillary—lied about sexual relations with a young woman who worked for him in the White House.

When his despicable behavior was exposed to the point that he couldn't deny it any longer, Clinton spoke to the American people. In August 1998, he gave the following address about his lies, his disgusting sexual behavior, and his mistreatment of a woman who worked as a subordinate.
As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information
Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and personal failure on my part for which am solely and completely responsible. . . . .I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.
Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most--my wife and our daughter--and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.Nothing is more important to me personally. But it is private, and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It's nobody's business but ours.
Now, pay close to what he says next because it directly applies to what is happening with Trump, so much so that he should mimic the former president by using these very words in his own defense:
Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.
Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do.
Now is the time -- in fact, it is past time to move on.
We have important work to do -- real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face.
And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.
So willing were the media and Democratic politicians to get past the sexual impropriety of the president that they did just what he said. For months and years following, Clinton defenders repeated with defiant fury, "This is a private matter and has nothing to do with the issues at hand. The American people don’t care about Clinton, Lewinsky, a soiled dress, and a cigar."

The vile and lewd sexual exploits of the president and his mistreatment of a young woman who was in a powerless position didn't matter. Not one iota.

Coupled with this defense of Clinton was the overall messaging that the moral absolutism of Christianity and any religious types who dared judge another person's actions or character needed to exit the public stage. The only thing that was important was the progressive cultural and political agenda of the Democratic Party.

I would posit that this has not changed. All the same people in the media and political class today who are condemning Trump don't give a wit about what he said on that tape. It's all smoke and mirrors with them. Given the rampant immorality in the D.C. and throughout the political media, they're hardly shocked by the businessman's comments.

They don't believe in absolute morality anyway. And even if they do have some semblance of conscience, they don't think it matters what happens in private. All that matters is pushing their liberal agenda. If it takes being hypocritical about Trump, then so be it.

Their moral outrage is as fake as Hillary Clinton's smile during a debate. The real outrage they feel is over any threat to their ideology and their quest for power.

Yet the sanctimonious fools on the right have little-to-no sense to see this or how they're playing into the hands of the left. Republicans have become mere pawns in the Democratic Party's game of political power.

This started years ago when the Republican Party suddenly became enlightened and decided that social and moral issues don't matter. "It's the economy, stupid! Don't talk about the evils of abortion.

Don't talk about the Ten Commandments or prayer in schools. Don't talk about the immorality of same-sex marriage or transgendering or even homosexuality. Don't talk about Bill Clinton's sexual abuse or anything that touches on issues of character.”

Their message to the salt-of the-earth types and "hobbits" who believe in right and wrong, principles, and the Bible has been “For God’s sake, just shut up!”

For years, the religious right was attacked and maligned from within the Republican Party. They were accused of being backward, stupid, moralistic boobs. Political elites were ashamed to share the same space with them on the public stage. They just wanted them to go away.

Well, they didn't go away, but they did listen. If morality doesn't matter in politics, then just elect someone who will at least stop the leftist juggernaut (or slow it down) even though he's immoral, unprincipled, egotistical, and not really much of a conservative. And if he damages the GOP political elite in the process and takes a bit of the shine off of their arrogant crowns, so much the better. Voila, Donald Trump.

So now we have a tape that show's Trump is an immoral, nasty guy, speaking as many guys do in their "man-space" (frats, military bases, golf courses, locker rooms). Is it defensible? No. Is it gross? Yes. Is it immoral? Indeed. But for a society that has declared absolute morality dead, what credible response does it have to Trump or anyone else?

It doesn’t have one. All it has is mock outrage that signifies nothing.

Can Democrats (and Republicans) who defended Bill Clinton criticize Trump with any moral authority? No. They have no moral authority. They abandoned it for political gain, and that’s all they’re concerned about today—power, not virtue.

As for all the Republicans—particularly those of the establishment, the political elites—what can they say except that they are reaping what they have sown?

They shunned the religious right and said morality doesn't have a place in politics. All that matters is economics and the sustainability of the Grand Ole Party.

They—the GOP political elites now chiding Trump voters about virtue—made a deal with the Devil long ago to secure political influence and power. By abandoning the moral foundations that would have prevented the rise of Trump, they have no basis on which to even whisper about the immorality of Trump.

AMEN.  Spoiler alert for Sunday's debate and beyond----Boatloads of moral and righteous indignation and posturing ahead.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Time For Trump To Quit Race, Let Pence Take Over--- Clinton Should Quit Too (OK, This Is Naive Of Me)



ON PENCE FROM CNBC:  Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, was "beside himself" and his wife was furious, according to a person familiar with their thinking. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to share the private discussion.
In public, Pence ignored questions shouted by reporters in Rossford, Ohio, where he was campaigning with his daughter.

BROADDRICK:  Bill Clinton's actions speak louder than Donald Trump's words 




I said it before,  after the first debate and I'll say it again: Trump. Will. Never. Be. POTUS.

Yes, I know this hot mic tape with Billy Bush in 2005 is typical, puerile male locker room talk---spoken by chest-thumping males billions of times a day down through the eons. It's probably nothing compared to Bill Clinton's sexual conquests and braggadocios talk.

Nevertheless, this expose will render Trump's campaign D O A.   Fini.  Done.  No apology will change this turn-of-events.(Trump apologizes, says he was wrong.) He should quit  immediately and let Mike Pence take the reins of the campaign.  Conservatives will jump at warp speed on a Pence finish.

While we're at it,  I think Clinton should quit too.  Keeping both these low-lifes and their spouses out of the White House would be the best thing that could ever happen to America.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tim Kaine, My Idea of the Most Unattractive Man in America



The idea of having to watch Hillary and Tim for the next four years in the media spotlight---along with Kim Kardashian---is almost too much to bear.  That's why I will vote for  the very imperfect, sometimes goofy Donald Trump and hope his secret service details will never allow him tweet after sundown, even if they have to handcuff him. Maybe they can put Trump under house arrest in the White House.

Pence rightly points out Kaine's  pugnacious verbosity an avalanche of insults. And he calls Kaine's nonsense the silliness that it is.  Pence plows on and sets the Trump/Pence record straight on the struggling economy,  immigration reform and vetting, premature withdrawal from Iraq,  Iran nuclear weapons plan,  NATO,  cyber-security,  the Russian reset, the Clinton Foundation and the sanctity and dignity of life and pro-adoption. Pence spoke eloquently on being opposed to partial birth abortion.

Lost opportunity on the death-spiral of Obamacare.

The beautiful moderator lost control early on.

The well-informed Pence shined, conveying strength and clarity for his ticket.  Like I said,  Pence is a prince of a candidate and I will enthusiastically vote for him. Though I don't think this debate will move the needle much for either side.

Did the Infamous Pink Panther Jewelry Syndicate Steal Kim Kardashian's Baubles In Paris?



Early Monday morning, five armed men disguised as police officers broke into Kim Kardashian's hotel room in Paris, held her at gunpoint, and stole over $11 million of jewelry. Few criminals have the wherewithal to pull off a heist like that and leave no trail, so it's already rumored that the infamous Pink Panthers were behind the robbery.

The Pink Panthers are a notorious network of jewel thieves. The group was formed over three decades ago, and is said to be made up of close to 200 men and women, mostly Serbians and Montenegrins. According to law enforcement agencies they have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars worth of jewelry from different locations around the world.
All this begs another question, was it all a publicity stunt?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday---Economy of Words: Speaking Less, Listening More

JON BLOOM AT DESIRING GOD HAS WRITTEN SOMETHING I CERTAINLY NEED TO READ AND HEAR OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Whatever the form of communication,  I increasing prefer giving and receiving brevity over verbosity.  If someone writes too much online,  I rarely read or finish it OR I go straight to the conclusion to get the point.  I avoid people who talk incessantly. More and more I love times of pure silence to quiet my pounding heart and troubled mind in a world awash with way too much information, high drama and fear-mongering.

To wit, I will read and re-read  this piece often this week and try to take it more deeply to heart.

Anyway,  Bloom's piece puts  it all in perspective within a biblical worldview: 

Our God is a speaking God. The Bible tells us that the universe was created by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3), and that he holds it together by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). That means everything we see is a word of God, and many things we don’t see, like every angel and demon, every galaxy and quark in existence. One could rightly say God speaks a lot.

With that in mind, have you ever noticed how small the Bible is?
The inspired, authoritative, infallible accumulated written record of the specific words God wanted us to read and remember over the course of 3,500–4,000 years — the definitive book to gather in and guide his people — is tiny. Its sixty-six “books” are brief, some only a few pages long. At a little over 750,000 words, most English versions of the Bible have less than two thousand pages.

Why Didn’t He Say More?

To help put that number in perspective, here are rough estimates for several popular books or authors:

  • William Shakespeare: 960,000
  • Harry Potter: 1,084,170
  • John Piper’s forthcoming collected works: 3,000,000
  • Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics: 6,000,000
  • The Bible: Only 750,000
Numbers like these simply make us pause and wonder over God’s written word economy. 

Our wonder increases when we think that during the most important moment in human history, when the Word himself became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14), we only have a relative handful of recorded words that he actually spoke. Unlike us, Jesus seems to have been a man of few, potent human words. Why did he choose the words he did? Why didn’t he say more?
Of the likely thousands of answers to those questions, what we know is that Jesus limited himself to speaking only what the Father gave him to speak (John 8:28). There was more he could have said (John 16:12), but he guarded his mouth, speaking carefully and prayerfully only what gave grace to his hearers (Ephesians 4:29), or delivered the needed rebuke and reproof (2 Timothy 4:2). And he intends for us to learn from him (Matthew 11:29).

Living in a Whirl of Words

Since the fall of man, the human tongue has always been “a restless evil,” “a world of unrighteousness,” setting whole forests of humanity on fire (James 3:5–8). The proverbial author said, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19). And the post-Eden world has been a whirlwind of words. 

But never before have so many been able to say so much in so many ways. Satan, the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), has filled the airwaves, cyber-waves, print-waves, brainwaves, and every other wave of human communication with lying words. He is the father of lies (John 8:44), and wields power over the world (1 John 5:19). He is working to exponentially increase words, and in doing so, to increase the snares of human transgression. The tornado of words is now a raging Category 5 hurricane.

But the hurricane has an eye. It is the Spirit of God speaking through the word of God. The few, powerful, nourishing words of God are still waters and green pastures of refreshment; they are Gibraltar-like rocks of refuge from the whirling wicked words careening across the world in which we live. The few words of the Word have eternal life in them (John 6:68), in a world overwhelmed with tongues of death (Proverbs 18:21). 

Seek the hurricane’s eye. Seek the rock of refuge. The storm of words never lets up. Therefore, like anything else, we get used to it. We acclimate to the howling wind of words. Strangely, the hush of the eye can feel strange. The quiet of the refuge can be unnerving. If that’s true for us, we need the stillness more than we realize.

Let Your Words Be Few

But we also need to speak less. When speaking to God, perhaps we need to take more seriously these few words of counsel:

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
And when speaking to others, perhaps we must take more seriously the concise commands to be “slow to speak” (James 1:19) and to “let no corrupting talk come out of [our] mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).
Christians are “Christ-ones.” We are being conformed to Christ’s image (Romans 8:29). “As he is so also are we in the world” (1 John 4:17). If Jesus limited himself to speaking only what the Father gave him to speak, if he spoke carefully and prayerfully, if he could have said more at times but held back, what does that mean for us?
It means, in comparison to the volume of words flooding the world, we should let our words be graciously few.

Lay Aside the Weight of Too Many Words

Too many words inevitably result in sin (Proverbs 10:19). Wordly sin just compounds the closely clinging weights of relational conflict, concealed lies, broken trust, a violated conscience, and knowledge of a grieved Holy Spirit. And too much time in the satanic whirlwind of worldly words also takes its toll, weighing down our spirits.
Let us lay aside these sins and weights by:

  • Confessing the sins of our lips to God (1 John 1:9), and to appropriate others (James 5:16),
  • Making this our prayer: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3),
  • Letting our words be appropriately few to God (Ecclesiastes 5:2) and to others (James 1:19),
  • And daily taking refuge from the hurricane of words in the eye of the word of God.
Our God is a speaking God. He is not silent. The Word is speaking into existence you and everything else that exists. And the Word’s few spoken human words have more power in them than five hundred trillion words of men, angels, and demons. That’s why the Father says to us of his Son, “listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). We would do well to listen more and speak less — and when we do speak, to only speak what he gives us to say.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Cooler Weather Has Arrived--It Means We Can Finally Turn On Our Ovens!


FALL IS FINALLY IN THE AIR. IT'S SO MUCH FUN  BEING ABLE TO GET OUT THE DUTCH OVEN. Then brown a chicken and throw all the veggies from the frig---fennel, radicchio, brussel sprouts and tomatoes. Then pop it in a 425 pre-heated oven for several hours. Delicious warm aromas waft through the kitchen.....simply wonderful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Current Prediction Of Who Will Next Land At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

I SIMPLY DON'T THINK THE DONALD IS GOING TO WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION this year and make it to the White House.  I will vote for him and hope against hope that I'm wrong. Still I think he will fall short of a win, losing the election to Hillary Clinton by a small margin.  The thought of that leaves me in a bit of a funk today.  But truth to tell, I've never really been convinced that Trump was/is all in for being POTUS in the first place.  I'm still not.  Some of his actions simply don't line up for me.   I don't think he's got the temperament,  patience or skill-set to be working in government,  not even the highest job in government.

I think within 6 months (if not sooner) of losing the election,  Trump will jumping-for-joy that he didn't win as he goes and comes as a businessman, international wheeler-dealer and  burgeoning media mogul with the likes of Roger Ailes  from his new D.C. headquarters at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue several blocks down from the White House---the magnificent new Trump International Hotel also known as the Old Post Office which his company has lavishly renovated and turned into a world-class hotel destination.

In addition, I think Trump will launch himself in various new directions which he's uniquely more qualified for than POTUS.  Whether he remains a constant thorn in Hillary's side (and vice-versa) or goes back to being friends with her as his D.C neighbor remains to be seen.  However,  I think that every day and each new crisis that passes after the election,  Donald Trump will increasingly thank his lucky stars he's a mere civilian who can help make America great in many other ways.

BTW,  I'll be in D.C. for a week in mid-October and plan to run down to the Trump hotel that's just opening.  Should be a lot of fun.  I'll put on a wool sheath and heels and let one of my favorite men friends buy me dinner and a glass of wine. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Webutante Word: The Most Hyped, Scripted and Watched Debate in History Will Be The Dullest



 I SIMPLY CANNOT FALL IN LINE WITH ALL THE WEEKS-LONG MEGA-HYPE ABOUT THE HILLARY-DONALD DEBATE TONIGHT. Yes, Yes, on the surface, in the media and Fox News, it's the most talked about, potentially explosive and interesting happening in modern political history. But like the complete predictability of the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie yawning split, it will get dull faster than a snowstorm melting in July. I certainly will be there watching, at least for a little while, until the scripting and canned responses start to act like melatonin on my mind. Actually, I think there may be more interesting and fun things to see and hear in the last of the three debates near the end when the gloves come off and one or the other has nothing left to lose. I certainly could be wrong about this, and often am.

Nonetheless, the word deplorables should not slip from Hillary's lips and Megyn better have on a great outfit since she's not moderating.  Time will tell.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Bible Project---Studying the Prophet Isaiah

PART 1---Isaiah 1-39 PART 2---Isaiah 40-66 THERE ARE MANY PROPHECIES IN ISAIAH, written 800 years before the birth and life of Jesus, which foretell the coming of a Messiah and Savior to redeem the people from their sins and give them eternal life and hope. According to Isaiah, God would not send a forceful military conqueror as many then expected, but rather a suffering servant, wounded and broken for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5). The only way for us to be saved, to get rid of our sin problem, is for someone else to take our punishment for us. That's exactly what Jesus did on the Cross. Today, it is up to us to accept our sinfulness---it's called repentance---then accept God's free gift of redemption on the Cross.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Love The Dress


MOST OF THESE HAUTE COUTURE FASHION SHOWS LEAVE ME COLDER THAN COLD.  This one dress, however, appeals to me.  Read more from Milan:

Saturday's Bottega Veneta show in Milan marked 50 years of this venerated Italian house - the name of which translates simply as "Venetian shop". Born in the Veneto region, its modus operandi has always been exquisite craftsmanship and a low-key approach to luxury.

Friday, September 23, 2016

After Many Months of Careful Consideration and Prayer---Cruz Goes For Trump

TED CRUZ DOES THE RIGHT THING, ENDORSES TRUMP for 6 reasons: The Supreme Court, Obamacare, Energy policy, Immigration policies that put our country at extreme risk, National Security which normalizes Islam and finally Internet Freedom.

Many say Cruz has committed political suicide with his endorsement, but I say I respect him more for putting our wobbling nation first. 


Still, I think a Trump victory in November is far from a slam-dunk.  I think at this point,  Hillary is going to be the next POTUS by a narrow margin.  I hope against hope that I'm wrong. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

James K. Polk, 11th POTUS And One of the Few To Meet All Of His Stated Goals


THIS WONDERFUL HISTORY PIECE @ THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR ON JAMES K. POLK OF TENNESSEE. Among many other things, Polk promised to be a one-term president and kept that promise too.


My late friend Peter Hannaford believed, “If presidents are to be judged by their ratio of achievement to their stated goals, James Polk had a 100 percent record and, in that respect, must be seen as one of our most successful presidents.” Peter was a Republican all his life, but he was also a big fan of Democratic President James Polk (1845-1849). As a proud Californian, Peter had a library full of books on the history of his home state. He was grateful to Polk for expanding the country to include California. He was also very impressed that Polk was a politician that managed to keep all of his promises. Before Peter passed away last year (today would have been his 84th birthday), we were in the process of writing a book proposal about the history of presidential promises. We wanted to rate every president by the number of promises kept. We wrote a few sample chapters for book publishers, and Polk was the subject of the first one. President Polk made four promises and achieved all of them in a single term. In the process, Polk engineered the nation’s second largest territorial expansion after Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase.... READ THE REST

Friday, September 16, 2016

What's A Nice Girl Doing Visiting Here In the Midwest?

OUTSIDE WONDERFUL NAPERVILLE, ILINOIS SEEING AN OLD HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND/ROOMMATE AND HER HUSBAND. What a light-filled, lovely part of the country looking west across the cornfields towards the Great Plains. My buddy is not feeling so well these days so it's good to be here for a little while catching up on our lives, families and challenges.

While I'm at it, here's a post for Sunday from Tim Challies on 3 Godly Ambitions for the Christian. I couldn't agree more with this message:

 Some of my favorite biblical commands are the ones that most counter our culture, and even our little Christian subculture. We find just such a series of commands near the end of 1 Thessalonians. There Paul tells this church to “…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” (4:11). The ESV is nicely complemented by the NIV’s slightly different rendering: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.”

When Paul says “make it your ambition” he indicates that this is the good, right, and honorable way for them to live their lives—and for us to live our lives. Over against all the other things we could aspire to, we are first to aspire to these, for these are matters of first importance. He highlights three godly ambitions for the Christian.

Live a quiet life. Paul first exhorts us to live a quiet life and to be content to live such a quiet life. What is this quiet life? It’s a life that is not obsessed with thrusting itself into the public eye. It’s a life that is content to be unknown and unnoticed if that is the Lord’s will. It’s a life that is measured not by popularity or platform but by faithfulness. In that way it’s also a life that avoids conflict, that avoids being contentious and is, instead, willing to forgive or overlook as a situation requires. Sure, we thrust some people into the spotlight and often for very good reasons. We need some people (like Paul!) to take on positions of prominence. But these ought to be people who have first proven their character in obscurity and who would be equally content to remain far out of the spotlight. Make it your ambition to be unknown—to be joyfully, contentedly unknown.
We need to give full attention to the few matters that belong to us and butt out of all those that do not.

Mind your own business. And as you live that unknown life, mind your business. Whether in community, workplace, local church fellowship, or family, there is always a temptation to get involved in things that are not our concern. There is something in us that gives us arrogant confidence that we know how to live other people’s lives, do other people’s jobs, fulfill other people’s ministries better than they do. We are quick to get involved in things that are none of our concern. Paul says to make it our ambition to mind our own business. We need to give full attention to the few matters that belong to us and butt out of all those that do not. We love people best not by meddling but by staying far out of their affairs. Make it your ambition to stay in your lane, to humbly give your full attention to those few responsibilities God has called you to.

Work hard. And then there is the call to work hard. Each of us deals with the temptation to refuse to get involved in much of anything. Laziness haunts us. And yes, Christians can be embarrassingly lazy, refusing to “work with our own hands,” as Paul commands—to work hard at providing for ourselves and to work hard at having enough that we can provide for those who have true needs. There is great value in our work: “so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (4:12). Hard work has evangelistic value in showing unbelievers our refusal to lazily meddle and it has congregational value in that it frees us from being dependent upon others. Better still, it frees us to help those who need our help.
So, says Paul, be ambitious. But be ambitious first for the basic and lowly things. Master these few matters. Be content with these few things. This is a life that pleases God.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Doctor I Saw Today Said This About Hillary's Condition

I RAN BY TO SEE A DOCTOR TODAY FOR A 2-MINUTE MEDICAL PROCEDURE and we started talking about Clinton's health issues. He's a very smart man and said he thinks she most likely had a pulmonary embolism shortly before she developed pneumonia. He seemed to know she is on coumadin (warfarin), a blood thinner. Coumadin is used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in veins and arteries. All of this to say that, the more I hear, the more I continue to believe Hillary is not well enough---physically---to be POTUS. I certainly don't think she's morally well enough either. Then we talked about what happens to the votes she gets if she drops out after early voting has started. It's enough to make one's head spin and spin and spin. MEANWHILE COLIN POWELL UNLEASED. He certainly has a way with words.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hillary's New Diagnosis---Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu--Is It Over?


Who will step in for her now, besides Bubba?  Biden? 

BTW, I too take no pleasure in her health problems which frankly pale in comparison to her character issues. Still, whatever gets her out of the race---she's not fit to be president under any circumstances---is a good development. She's an enabler in so many aspects of her personal and professional life and character. She lacks courage. She lacks integrity. She lacks the ability to stand on her own two feet.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Timber Work: The World's Most Dangerous, Fulfilling Profession


CONSULT ANY LIST, ASK ANYONE IN THE KNOW AND THEY'LL TELL YOU,  timbering and road building in true wilderness can be as dangerous work as it ever gets. But to professional loggers with decades of experience managing the risks and rewards (and the size of last week's rattlesnake) on these types of lands, it's the most satisfying of all professions in the world.  There's no where else any of them would rather be.  They live and work on land they love,  as close to the rhythms of nature,  seasons and wildlife as anyone can be today.

One of the last bastions of all male camaraderie, these men---real men---combine tree harvesting with  an eye on the health of present and future forests,  good business sense, top-notch safety procedures, good manners, ole time religion and an ultimate conservation ethic from boots on the ground, rather than obscure computer modelling with little basis in practical reality. It's an ethic Mr. Gore would envy.

How could I be so fortunate to be working with these outstanding men for the past several years? Grace is the only answer I can come with. (Yes, I know there are plenty of unscrupulous loggers out there.)

I spent today  with them as they laid out a road that will serve multiple purposes in the months and years to come. It was very hot in Nashville, but on the mountain with the majesty of big trees forming an air condition canopy, it was much cooler.  A glorious day, far away from news.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sunday to Sunday: Why Marriage Is Better Than Cohabitation

PASTOR JOHN PIPER---A Proven Recipe For Humility


THOUGH CHRISTIANS continue to affirm the uniqueness, the goodness, and the necessity of marriage, our society continues to legitimize cohabitation as either a common precursor to marriage or a complete alternative. This slide is troubling, for marriage offers a number of important benefits that are absent from cohabitation—benefits that extend to couples, to their children, to their families, and to society as a whole. Christopher Ash helpfully outlines these in his book Married for God.

1. Marriage Is Unambiguous

Unlike cohabitation, marriage is unambiguous. In fact, in most cases cohabitation is deliberately in its ambiguity. “When a man and woman begin sleeping together and perhaps move in together, the rest of us are left guessing as to what exactly is the basis of their relationship. Clearly they have agreed to sleep together, as otherwise it would be rape. But what have they promised one another, if anything? On what basis or shared understanding are they together?” The answers will vary from couple to couple and may range from a very minimal level of commitment to a very significant one. But there always remains a measure of uncertainty. Often each of the partners will have different levels of commitment or expectation—one thinking that moving in together marks the beginning of something permanent while the other regards it as a mere trial period. All the while the rest of us are uncertain how to relate to them as they live together and if and when they dissolve their relationship. The relational ambiguity is especially apparent when one of them dies. “Who is the next of kin? With whom should we grieve most deeply? The parents, or the live-in partner?” Marriage helpfully resolves this lack of clarity.

2. Marriage Is a Union of Families; Cohabitation Is Free-Floating

Marriage is a union of families rather than just of two free-floating individuals. Cohabitation is an attempt to keep a relationship private, not in the sense of secret, but “in the sense of an arrangement agreed to and confined to the two of them, with families only rather awkwardly and ambiguously involved.” But marriage joins together two families in a connection that is meant to be a responsibility and blessing to both. “It is better to be connected than to float ‘free’ but disconnected from wider family and society,” for biblically this kind of scattered freedom is regarded as a curse while gathering into a people and family is regarded as a blessing. “This is because God wants his world governed in an ordered way by connected people.” Marriage serves as a small but foundational expression of bringing order through connection.

3. Marriage Provides Protection for the Vulnerable at the Start

The public nature of marriage provides an important protection for the vulnerable at the start of the sexual relationship. “We sometimes think that we are autonomous free-floating individuals who make decisions for ourselves. The reality is that we are influenced in many ways in every decision we make. And in the area of sex, above all, we are open to manipulation and exploitation, even unwittingly, by passions that rage and desires that can overwhelm us.” We are all prone to making poor decisions that we will later regret, and this is especially true in those areas where we can be unduly influenced by strong passions and desires. The public and family aspects of marriage serve as a kind of protection against this. “Because marriage is a public union in which the families ought to be involved, and not just the two individuals, it offers the protection and wisdom of families in a way that can protect the vulnerable from being exploited or making foolish decisions under the pressure of passion.” Many couples resent the involvement of family; many families are sinfully manipulative and overbearing. But more often than not (and certainly when families are behaving according to God’s pattern), they provide an important measure of protection and affirmation.

4. Marriage Offers Some Hope of Justice to Those Wronged When It Ends

When a man or woman walks out of a sexual relationship, the other partner always suffers.

Marriage offers important measures of protection and justice for the one who is wronged when a marriage breaks up. “When a man or woman walks out of a sexual relationship, the other partner always suffers. In marriage, however, society recognizes that the abandoned party has rights that the other needs to honor. And in a healthy society the one who walks out is forced to honor these rights and is not able to walk away irresponsibly.” While these protective measures may be imperfect, they are at least designed to ensure that there is a framework to promote and ensure justice. Of course many countries are now acting to enforce similar obligations with cohabitation, but there is a strange irony here. “Perhaps before long no one will be able to walk out of a cohabitation without some obligation to fulfill responsibilities to the other (especially if there are children). We must welcome this. But we must also note that every move in this direction makes unmarried cohabitation less attractive to those who entered it precisely in order to avoid the obligations of marriage. Indeed, we could make a case for saying that society ought to treat cohabiting partners as if they were married, with all the obligations that entails. This would mean that to break a cohabitation, one party would have to sue for what would effectively be divorce! If that were to happen, then the mere action of moving in together would come to signify the commitment verbalized in the marriage vows, and then cohabitation would mean marriage.” Wouldn’t that be something.

5. Marriage Strengthens Private Intentions with Public Promises

The public promises of marriage are necessary because when we make public promises, we lay our reputation and integrity on the line behind those promises. While couples often make private promises to one another, there is a world of difference between those made in private and those declared in public before witnesses. “Private assurances are terribly easy to break; they evaporate like the morning dew. … But when all my wider family, my friends, my work colleagues, and my neighbors know I have publicly made this pledge, then I am much more inclined to keep it. I do not want them thinking I am a liar. And marriage begins precisely with those public promises.” Those public promises are made before witnesses—many or few—who stand in the place of the rest of society to affirm them and call upon a couple to honor them. “Our capacity for faithfulness makes marriage possible, but our capacity for unfaithfulness makes marriage necessary. We need the public promises to hold us to the faithfulness we pledge. When we struggle in difficult marriages, it is a great help to know that we have publicly promised to be faithful for life, and that everybody else expects us to keep that promise, and that if we don’t then we must expect to experience shame. All this strengthens and supports marriage, and helps us keep to the end the promises we made at the start.”

In each of these ways—and many more could be listed, marriage is far better than cohabitation.
For an alternate, entirely secular, but still interesting view, you may enjoy watching this video from The School of Life: Why Bother With Marriage?

Saturday, August 27, 2016



The Christian movement  is a degeneracy movement composed of reject and refuse elements of every kind....It is therefore not racially conditioned;  it appeals to the disinherited everywhere....It needs a symbol that represents a curse on the well-constituted and takes the side of idiots and utters rancor against the gifted, the learned, the independent, for it detects in them the well-constituted and the masterful.

----Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Really, Friedrich?   Really?

I've posted atheist before, but it never ceases to fascinate me.

(Above, photo on Roan Mountain overlook, taken Saturday on a perfect day, temperature for hiking at  a high altitude.  Below, temps were in the mid-90s.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

View of the Grand Teton Tuesday As the Fed Meets In Jackson Hole



I MISS JACKSON HOLE AND ALL MY BUDDIES TERRIBLY. I WANT TO GO BACK! In my homesickness for the West, I go to the JHNews/Guide and look at the webcams. Very quickly it cools my ardor and brings me back to reality. The air there is extremely dry, toxic and lethal for everyone, though especially for people prone to bronchitis like me. These conditions will persist until at least the first good snow. Meanwhile, I turn my focus back to Tennessee, North Carolina and the projects, friends and blessings I have here. Friday, God willing, I will be hiking at Carvers Gap on Roan Mountain on the Tennessee/NC state line. Too lovely for words and every bit as grand as the mountains in Wyoming in its own unique way.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Nick Gillespie Interviews John Mackey, CEO Whole Foods Market

 GILLESPIE TALKS TO MACKEY IN A WIDE-RANGING, FASCINATING INTERVIEW. First half of this Q and A goes from politics to business, crushing federal regulations and WFM's new 365 Stores. Last half, it starts to lose me when Mackey goes off the rails into veganism. I've always liked and respected Mackey, especially his politics and health savings accounts ideas. But I have to say, he certainly looks pale and pasty to me in this video and I wonder if it's because of his vegan diet? Or maybe it's the lighting. He's starting to look more and more like Paul McCartney who is also a vegan. There's a definite wan look of extreme veganism that seems unhealthy to me. Ironic that the CEO of WFM comes across that way.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday---Losing Louisiana---Shocking Photographs of the Devastation From the 1000-Year Flood and A Prayer


MORE @ Zero Hedge

THIS IS A WONDERFUL PRAYER from Tim Keller's daily devotionals from The Songs of Jesus for September 3:

The Gift of Prayer---

LORD, prayerlessness is a sin against you.  It comes from a self-sufficiency that is wrong and that dishonors you.  Prayerlessness is also a sin against those around me.  I should be engaging my heart and your power in their needs. Lord, I pray with all my heart that you would give me a heart for prayer.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Way To Go Guys! Trump/Pence Tour Flood-Ravaged People In Louisiana


WHATEVER GROUND TRUMP HAS LOST OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, he has certainly helped regain some footing over the past few days with a couople of good policy speeches, a long-overdue apology and, now, his and Mike Pence's improvised tour to hurting and devastated people in southern Louisiana, many of whom have lost most of their material worldy possessions.

This from today's NYPost:

Here’s gumbo in your eye, Barack and Hillary.

Donald Trump wore the white hat Friday — one of his “Make America Great Again” hats, naturally — as he landed in flood-battered Baton Rouge to tour the damage and take a more-than-subliminal swipe at President Obama and Hillary Clinton, who have yet to visit victims.

Joined by his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for a hastily-planned, three-hour visit, the GOP candidate toured flood damage in a motorcade and got a warm welcome at a Baptist church in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

 These people need our prayers and absolutely anything we can think of to contribute to them. May God bless and have mercy on them all.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

TGC: King Henry VIII, The Reformation and The First Authorized Bible


Spend much time in Protestant circles and you will eventually hear of the Authorized Bible or the King James Bible. People who should know better have invented all manor of theories about the purity of the KJV, it’s reliance on the Textus Receptus, and the corruption of modern translations.

But the KJV was not the first English translation authorized by a king. The Great Bible (1539) was authorized by Henry VIII and was supervised by leading Protestant luminaries such as Miles Coverdale. It also rested its translation in large part on those books translated by William Tyndale. It’s legacy was to shape future English bibles, including the KJV itself. Also its legacy will be largely forgotten due to the quirky way Henry VIII viewed the Reformation, as well as the enormous success of the KJV a century later.

Henry VIII and the Reformation

Henry VIII is one of the oddest characters in the story of the Reformation. A man of conservative instincts when Luther’s reformation began, he nevertheless overthrew papal influence in England and built a church of his own. This puts Henry in the awkward position as both persecutor and supporter of the English Protestant church—the king who had Tyndale killed and later himself hired Protestants to translate the Bible into English. He’s a man of enormous contradictions, which is why the early Reformation in England appears to hesitant and piecemeal. 

Still Henry did quarrel with the pope over his annulment to Catherine of Aragorn and so launched England in a Protestant direction (try as he might to stop it from becoming fully Protestant). Henry at least liked certain types of Protestants who were both opposed to the pope and yet still supportive of Henry VIII’s claims to be head of the church in England. These men included Thomas Cranmer, Thomas Cromwell, and Miles Coverdale, each instrumental in the approval of the Great Bible.

Read the whole fascinating piece.