Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday---Four Reasons to Slow Down

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday---Becoming A True Christian

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

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

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

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


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

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The White House Today

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

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

January 6, 2017 - 

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

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

*******

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

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bye Bye Megyn, Hello Tucker

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Few Hellos and Goodbyes For 2017

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

HELLO, ICEBERG LETTUCE WEDGE SALAD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome to the New Year Sunday: Resolutions Are Not Enough

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

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

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

1. Focus on a Few, Not Many.

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

2. Make It Specific.

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

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

Read Mathis' full article.
 

Biggest Movie Duds, Best Films of 2016

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

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

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


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

Monday, December 26, 2016

Peaceful, Stark Winter Afternoon

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

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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

My Favorite Neighborhood Christmas Lights


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

Merry Christmas and God bless.


Take it away Martina.....

 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

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

WALSH: THIS IS WHY WE HAVE THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

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

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

Ruining the country already?  Really?

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Trains In Winter

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

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

Sunday, December 18, 2016

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

 

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

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

---Micah 5:2-5

*******

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

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

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

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

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


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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Kitty At Dawn

WE'RE BOTH EARLY RISERS.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

View From My Stove

IT'S FROM MY PHONE AGAIN....ONLY THIS TIME because of down internet for my computer.

One of my most cherished things to do at this time of year is to cook for the homeless in a Nashville program called Room At the Inn.  A number of churches in the area commit to housing and feeding  homeless men and women who need shelter in the winter months.  Tonight my church provides shelter and some of the womenfolk  donate a nourishing hot meal.

I did pork tenderloin with cooked apples last year and the guys loved it, so I did it again this afternoon.  There will also be a green vegetable and salad.

After dinner, there are warm beds and plenty of blankets...and boy do they need that this week cause it's damp and getting colder by the minute.

Hopefully we can lift their spirits.  This is what Christmas is really about for me and many of us.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Third Sunday Advent

GALATIANS 3:28 (NIV) 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
 

IT IS NOT, THEN, THE GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE IN AND THE BAD PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT. Everyone is in only by the grace of Jesus Christ.  It is only what Jesus has done for you that can give you standing before God.

There is no one, not even the greatest human being, who does not need the grace of Jesus Christ.  And there is no one, not even the worst human being, who can fail to receive the grace of Jesus Christ if there is repentance and faith.

In Jesus Christ, prostitute and king, male and female,  Jew and Gentile, one race and another race, moral and immoral---all sit down at the table as equals.  Equally sinful and lost, equally accepted and loved....

God is not ashamed of us.  We are all in his family.

There is another side to this.  All cultures encourage their members to look down on some people in order to congratulate themselves for their own superiority.  It may be people from another race or class.  Maybe you look down on those snobs with so much education, or maybe it's the ignorant ones with no education.  Maybe you despise the people whose political views you think are ruining the country.  In all of these examples, you have been taught to see some people as unclean, beyond the pale, unholy----while you are okay.  Jesus Christ's values are radically different.  The world values pedigree, money, race and class.  He turns that all upside down  These things that matter so much outside Jesus' church must not be brought inside.  He says, in a sense, 'In my family, those things that are so important out there in the world must not be so important.'

Hidden Christmas, pages 33, 34,   Timothy Keller

Finally Back Online With A Working Computer Thanks to Remote Support from Jujai In Jackson Hole, WY

LEARNING TO CELEBRATE FAILURE WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG OFTEN LEADS TO SUCCESS LATER.....

FLORIDA ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER FROM LAKE OKEECHOBEE......WE NEED TO TURN THIS LONG-TERM CRISIS AROUND......

FASCINATING LAWSUIT UPDATE:  NICK LOEB AND EMBRYOS ARE SUING FORMER GIRLFRIEND SOPHIA VERGARA  TO LIVE AND BE BORN....(UNFERILIZED EGGS ARE ONE THING, FERTILIZED EGGS ARE QUITE ANOTHER)
 ________________________________________

WHY I HADN'T THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE IS BEYOND ME.  I picked up my new computer several days ago from a big office retail store in Nashville where I'd instructed tech support everrything I wanted done.  What a complete mess I found when I finally got my laptop home and tried  to work on it.   It was unusable. The thought of taking the computer back to that  store (which is required to use limited options) for more 'help' was totally unacceptable to me.  I did manage to get some of my money back from them however.  I was still facing a dysfunctional working system and  had tons of work and printing  to do.

Then I had a bright idea:  Why not call my brilliant computer tech guy---Jujai, pronounced 'your eye'---in Jackson, Wyoming? He'd already worked with me there in person on several occasions.

As soon as I reached him and explained the problems,  he suggested he could fix everything by remote support, rather than just tell me how to do it.  I gave him my info and he got on his team viewer.  Within an hour, every single issue was resolved (installed and uninstalled) with free programs and only the cost of his time--- reasonable and worth every penny.  I am deeply grateful and will think of remote tech support with Jujai first and foremost for software issues in the future.

If you need help, updates or advice and are willing to get it from afar, then call Jujai or Robert at Computer Clinic----307-734-9415----and see if you're not glad you did.  I certainly am.

And tell 'em Webutante from Tennessee sent you!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today, A New Computer!


BEEN IN A COMPUTER DROUGHT FOR THE PAST WEEK. As you likely know typing on a cell phone is less than ideal and frought with mistakes. So I'll be glad to pick it up this morning, though I've learned some things by having to work entirely off my phone.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Second Sunday Advent, Season We Celebrate Christ's Light Dawning On the World


FROM HIDDEN CHRISTMAS ( The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ), By Timothy Keller:

CHRISTMAS, THEREFORE, IS THE MOST UNSENTIMENTAL, REALISTIC WAY AT LOOKING AT LIFE.  It does not say, 'Cheer up! If we all pull together, we can make the world a better place.' The Bible never counsels indifference to the forces of darkness, only resistance, but it supports no illusions that we can defeat these forces ourselves. Christianity does not agree with the optimistic thinkers who say, 'We can fix things if we try hard enough.'  Nor does it agree with the pessimists who see only a dystopian future. The message of Christianity is, instead, 'Things really are this bad, and we can't heal or save ourselves.  Things really are this dark---nevertheless, there is hope.'

The Christmas message is that  'on those living in the land of deepest darkness a light has dawned.'....upon the world a light has dawned.  It has come from outside.  There is light from outside of this world, and Jesus has brought that light to save us,  indeed, he is the Light (John 8:12)

---Page 12

Thursday, December 1, 2016

First Ever Post From My New Samsung


COMPUTER IS IN THE SHOP IN SARASOTA and may not get repaired or replaced before I leave for home soon.  So posting may be light for a while.

Want to say the terrible conflagration in and around the Great Smokies is in large measure due to the feds prohibiting selective cutting of the aging forests there, thereby allowing a huge buildup of dead and dying fuel over the decades. Radical environmentalists have encouraged this insanity also.  It's happened in Yellowstone and will continue to happen there and now in the East during periods of drought.

One way or another, Mother Nature will rebalance the environment whatever government policies are. Perhaps a wiser model of stewardship should be adopted by the new Trump administration.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Toxic Smoke, Historic Wildfires In Tennessee Are the Worst In A Century

UT PROFESSOR PREDICTED THIS FIRE FOR YEARS TRUMP'S TAX PROPOSALS SEEN LEADING TO SURGE IN CHARITABLE GIVING  
 I FEEL VERY BAD FOR EVERYONE IN EAST AND MIDDLE  TENNESSEE , WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA AND NORTH GEORGIA  who are affected by these horrific wildfires and the toxic, pervasive smoke and blue haze lingering and spreading over the entire southeast United States.  It's been an epic drought since mid-summer after 6 years of almost non-stop rain. 

We got  rain Monday and more predicted for the weekend, but who knows if it will be enough to begin to heal the parched, burning land and break the back of this drought for the ages.

I'm certainly no stranger to evacuating and running from forest fires over the years since my own home in  the Buffalo Valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming was threatened and had to be evacuated several times in the great Yellowstone mega-fires of 1988.  Just didn't see these Tennessee fires coming with the same  ferocity.  Nature's way of cleaning out and thinning its house.

Meanwhile,  I've had to leave the area and travel to a location with cleaner air and a little more humidity after weeks of shortness of breath from smoke inhalation. I hope to return to Tennessee next week if conditions allow and pray for all those who are struggling with losing loved ones,  property and dealing with respiratory and other health-related problems.  I hope and pray to God this terrible drought  will end soon.

Monday, November 28, 2016

President-Elect Donald Trump As You've Never Seen Him

FROM 2011, Via Maggie's Farm with thanks.

My kinda guy.

Monday, Is It Safe To Come Back to the Computer?

UPDATE: TN U.S. SENATOR BOB CORKER TO MEET TRUMP TUESDAY IN NYC

 WITH A RECOUNT (DEADLINE PASSES IN PA) AND MASS MAYHEM OVERTAKING US, I'd like to start the week on a lighter note. This video is very clever and fun... Meanwhile, late to the party but nonetheless of utmost importance: History will never absolve Castro. Nor should it. He was a brutal, sadistic dictator, who impoverished the people of Cuba for decades, as he lived lavishly and hypocritically in every way imaginable.....

The trend towards anti-establishment, populist nationalism continues as Fillon is now favored to be the next president of France. More. There's no way Hillary would fit into this new world shaping up. She is so  old, tired news. But clearly,  she has no intention of going quietly into the night.  Okay, so she'll go kicking and screaming. Still, she'll go.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Timeless Thanksgiving Messages Then and Now--- Lincoln And Trump

WISHING YOU A SAFE, BLESSED DAY OF GRATITUDE!

President Abraham Lincoln issued the following proclamation on Oct. 20, 1864, setting aside the last Thursday in November as "a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God."

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
IT HAS PLEASED ALMIGHTY GOD to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State
SOURCE

THEN TODAY HERE'S TRUMP leapfrogging the MSM and delivering Thanksgiving message on YouTube:


       

Sunday, November 20, 2016

James, the Brother of Our Lord, Writes On How Christians Should Live AFTER Being Saved By Grace


WE ARE SAVED ONLY BY GRACE---JESUS' FINISHED WORK ON THE CROSS---BUT AFTER SALVATION HAS COME,  OUR LIVES SHOULD REFLECT THIS BY OUR GOOD WORKS AND RIGHT LIVING---ALL FOR AND TO THE GLORY OF GOD!

JAMES 4 

SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO THE LORD 

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

VP-Elect Mike Pence Becomes a Captive Audience at 'Hamilton' Friday Night And Ups His Favorability Rating to 99%

UPDATE: PENCE BRUSHES OFF 'HAMILTON' FLAP
KRUISER: What really happened (at Hamilton last night) was a display of intolerance in the name of tolerance, which is pretty much all the left does these days. The audience was booing Pence, the fans on social media were cheering the boos, and the media told a story about it that barely flirted with the truth. This was the formula they thought would propel them to victory in the election, and they seem to be completely unaware that it didn't work. While they're giggling and applauding the cast's rude treatment of Pence, he will still become the second most powerful man in the country thanks to the Electoral College that was Alexander Hamilton's idea in the first place.  Now that's something worth cheering. 



PENCE, A CLASS ACT
 

THE BROADWAY CAST OF HAMILTON LAST NIGHT EXERCISED ITS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO BE INAPPROPRIATELY BOORISH AND RUDE as it went off-script after the performance to lecture the vice-president-elect in the audience about what scared y-cats they all are as a result of the presidential election of Donald Trump.  Talk about unprofessional and uncalled for.

As Stephen Kruiser writing at PJMedia this morning tells it, Pence---a class act---just made himself the early 2024 presidential front-runner:

If you are keeping running tally of how many lessons the Democrats and progressives have learned since the election the number still stands at zero.

After spectacularly failing at winning an election via the cool celebrity route, our friends on the left still seem a bit confused about the weight that the words of the performing classes have for the people of America.

Evidently everyone involved in the wildly successful Broadway musical "Hamilton" was on board with Hillary Clinton's premature coronation.  Hillary, below, at another performance:


 It certainly seems safe to say that this cast can be counted among the angst-ridden since November 8. So it was no surprise that they were less than gracious when Vice President-elect Mike Pence went to see a performance on Friday night.
 "We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values."
 
During Friday night's curtain call at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the Broadway cast addressed the presence of the vice president-elect, who was heavily booed by the audience upon entry.

"Vice president-elect, I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us," said Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr. He also told the audience, "There's nothing to boo here, we're all sharing a story of love."

"We welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical — we really do," he continued. "We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of all of us."

"We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations," Dixon concluded to Pence.

OK, Mr.  Dixon, if you say so.  Meanwhile,  think I'll take a pass on attending the show now.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday---Our Need for the Holy Spirit's Instruction In Bible Study and Worship

 
(ABOVE:  DROUGHT-STRICKEN MIDDLE TENNESSEE TURNS TO DUST AS WE PRAY FOR THE RAIN WE NOW SO DESPERATELY NEED)

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE---WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE ALL LIVE IN SPIRITUAL DROUGHT

IF WE REPEATEDLY READ THE BIBLE WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, it tends to reinforce our own prejudices and rock-hard doctrinal positions. We end up merely finding ammunition for what we already believe. We become so spiritually proud, so convinced of our own positions, that the Spirit is hindered in helping us grow in the things of God.

Go back to the 1850s in America when that horrible institution of slavery was being challenged and abolitionists raised their voices against slaveholders.  In the South, there were Bible-thumping preachers who twisted God's Holy Word to defend the wickedness of slavery.  Some actually held the enslavement of African-Americans was part of God's purpose for the earth!  With closed minds and bitter hearts, they used the Word of God for unholy purposes.  And their congregations shouted 'Amen!'  Those bigots weren't ungodly atheists; they were ministers and congregants with open Bibles before them.  Talk about spiritual deception!

The same thing had happened to the religious leaders of Jesus' day.  They (the Pharisees) held a prejudiced view of what the Messiah would be like and what he would do when he came.....Jesus didn't fit into their theology because their hard hearts were darkened-----even as they taught from the (Old Testament) Scripture.....They referenced God's Word without any spirit of revelation, brokeness or submission to God.  Without the help of the Holy Spirit to  understand the meaning of what we read, we're susceptible to reading our own biases into God's Holy Word.  No wonder our reading can become dry and boring. When we see only what we want to see in the Bible, it loses all power to transform us....

When we pick up the Bible and don't ask for the Spirit's help, it's like saying, 'God, do a new thing in me, but I'm not going to change anything I believe.'  That's an odd prayer, isn't it? No wonder we grow so little in our faith and see so few converted to Christ.  William Law, an eighteenth century English devotional writer, said, 'Thousands stand ready to split doctrinal hairs and instruct others in the fine meaning of Scripture words----but there are so few through whom the Holy Spirit can work to bring people to new birth in the kingdom of God.' 

Often we get our definitions for important things not by what the Spirit shows us in Scripture, but rather by what we saw growing in church....It is difficult for all of us to come to the Word of God and say, 'Holy Spirit, teach me, even if it goes against what I've been conditioned to believe.'  And yet we must! We will never understand God's purpose for the church and us individually unless we humble ourselves and pray, 'Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me!'

 ---Jim Cymbala,  Senior Pastor Brooklyn Tabernacle,  Spirit Rising

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Elegant New First Lady Style Steals the Show

MELANIA TRUMP: QUEEN OF FASHION TROLLING  @ THE FEDERALIST MELANIA TRUMP MAKES THE UNTHINKABLE PANTS/JUMPSUIT A THING OF DAZZLING GLAMOUR WHICH DOUBLES AS EVENING WEAR as she joins her husband, Donald, as he makes his POTUS acceptance speech. It's a $4,000 Ralph Lauren white silk crepe---with one shoulder exposed, the other beautifully draped----which succeeds in asserting her movie-star, impeccable style. Melania's predecessor, Michelle Obama, also has a dazzling fashion flair and a hard act to follow. But Melania is more than up to the task.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016