Monday, August 15, 2022

Greetings From Wyoming Before Ousting Liz

OF COURSE IT'S NOT OVER TILL IT'S OVER,  but it's looking good for Harriet Hageman's winning her primary against Liz Cheney this week.  

Let's get her done, Harriet! Kick Liz back to the DC beltway where she belongs.  

Friday, June 24, 2022

Congratulations to Our Republic for De-Federalizing Roe

Needless to say,  this SCOTUS ruling won't end all abortion.  But it will return it to the states where it belongs and where the people can decide. Perhaps it will make abortion  on demand harder and more costly.  Perhaps more tiny unborn lives will be saved.  Perhaps it will cause women to be more careful, thoughtful, less cavalier in their choices going forward. God designed sex to create new life between one man/one woman and ultimately His designs will not be thwarted. 

This is one small step towards sanity in our fallen country.  

Praise God!

Kudos to Donald Trump!

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

I Agree With Matthew.......

I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH MATTHEW on raising the legal age to 21 to buy assault weapons, on having tighter background checks and on at least a three-day waiting period. 
I am NOT in favor of red flag laws which would be far too easy to abuse. I also am in favor of tightening security at schools and arming certain teachers and staff and/or using veterans. 

These measures will help but won't wipe out evil psychopaths completely in our fallen and depraved culture.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Testimony: How Andrew Klavan Went From Judaism and Atheism to a Deep Faith in Jesus Christ with Megyn Kelly


 HAVE ALWAYS LIKED ANDREW.   Hearing his testimony only endears him to me more.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Easter Sunday: Why the Astounding Resurrection of Jesus Matters


 THINK OF THE RESURRECTION AS THE SECOND EXODUS....First the Exodus of God's people from Egypt, then the exodus of His people from sin and death. N.T. Wright explains.

Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Day!

Friday, April 15, 2022

The Veneration of the Cross


O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me! 

I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you led your Saviour to the cross.

Oh my people, what have I done to you?  How have I offended you?  Answer me!

Holy is God!  Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us.

For forty years I led you safely through the desert.

I fed you with manna from heaven, and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Saviour to the cross. 

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us.

What more could I have done for you?

I planted you as my fairest vine, but you  yielded only bitterness: 

when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, and you pierced your Saviour's side with a lance.

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us.

I opened the sea before you, but you opened my side with a spear.

I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud, but you led me to Pilate's court.

O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you?  Answer me!

I bore you up with manna in the desert, but you struck me down and scourged me.

I gave  you saving wa ter from the rockk, but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink.

Oh my people, what have I done to you?  How have I offended you?  Answer me!

I gave you a royal sceptre, but you gave me a crown of thorns.

I raised  you to the height of majesty, but you have raised me high on a cross.

O my people, what have I done to you?  How have I offended you?  Answer me!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

How We Can Prayerfully Help the Dire Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis

 Ukraine Refugees 2022: Poland Rolls Out $1.7 Billion of Aid - Bloomberg



AS MILLIONS of Ukrainians flee their war-torn country, relief agencies and Christians from all over the world are responding to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II. They’re also helping Ukrainians displaced in their own country or facing dire need in their hometowns. 

Why is it that war most tragically  harms women, children and the vulnerable  more than any others?  That's the great tragedy of this and so many wars. Among numerous groups offering assistance in Eastern Europe, here are a few to consider supporting and the ones I most highly recommend:

  • Mission to the World: The mission agency of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has a Lviv-based team staying in Ukraine to assist refugees fleeing to the western part of the country, and they’re also working with communities across the border.
  • Samaritan’s Purse: The U.S.-based Christian aid agency is operating an emergency field hospital on the outskirts of Lviv in Western Ukraine. The group is also running a mobile medical unit at a refugee site in neighboring Moldova.
  • TGC’s Ukraine project: Recognizing that war-weary citizens also need gospel-centered resources for their hearts and minds, TGC is working to build a website dedicated to relevant articles, essays, commentaries, and multimedia content translated into Ukrainian and Russian. TGC also plans to produce original content in Ukrainian and Russian aimed at the needs of church leaders and those they serve.

Please pray, pray, pray for God’s mercy in Eastern Europe and for an end to this terrible war in Ukraine.Pray for peace. Pray the Lord will draw near to all those who are suffering, scared and hopeless, and that many will find help for their immediate needs and cling to the gospel hope that Christ reigns and that he hears the cries of  of the suffering..Refugee aid campaigns mushroom in Poland, but tests lie ahead | Russia- Ukraine war News | Al Jazeera

Sunday, February 27, 2022

President Zelenskyy As You've Never Seen Him Before....

THAT WAS THEN, DWTS Ukraine, 2006 THIS IS NOW God bless these brave people. Please pray for progress in peace talks Monday. Pray that this horrific war ends quickly and doesn't spread to the Pacific and Taiwan.

Sunday---Prayinig Vengeance For Our Times---Psalm 94:1-7, 20-23



PSALM 94, An Imprecatory Prayer For Vengeance

The Lord is a God who avenges.
    O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
    pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?

They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice.”Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?

21 The wicked rulers band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.




Saturday, February 26, 2022

Pray for Zenlenskyy and His Brave Ukrainian Fighting Men


In the runup to the Russian invasion, Zelensky was critical of President Joe Biden’s open and detailed warnings about Putin’s intentions, saying they were premature and could cause panic. Then after the war began, he has criticized Washington for not doing more to protect Ukraine, including defending it militarily or accelerating its bid to join NATO. 

Zelensky and his wife, Olena, an architect, have a 17-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. He said this week that they remained in Ukraine, not joining the exodus of mainly women and children refugees seeking safety abroad. “The war has transformed the former comedian from a provincial politician with delusions of grandeur into a bona fide statesman,” wrote Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center for Foreign Affairs on Friday. Though he can be faulted for not carrying out political reforms quickly enough and for dragging his feet on hardening Ukraine’s long border with Russia over the last year, Haring said, Zelensky “has shown a stiff upper lip. He has demonstrated enormous physical courage, refusing to sit in a bunker but instead traveling openly with soldiers, and an unwavering patriotism that few expected from a Russian speaker from eastern Ukraine.” 

To his great credit, he has been ummovable. Pray for peace in Ukraine and all people in the crosshairs of this terrible war.  

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Jimmy Dore----- I Agree With What He Thinks and Says

ONCE AGAIN, the MSM's reporting has nothing, NOTHING, to do with reality. I am no Putin apologist, but I cannot imagine he would wait to invade any longer. Now this from Tucker Carlson:

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Ask Pastor John: How Does the Lottery Prey on the Poor?

NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE LOTTERIES GALORE, we now have legalized sports betting in most states, so the temptation to gamble and bet the farm is even more prevalent....I shudder to think about the money won and lost in Nashville Saturday in the  Bengals-Titans play-off game. Or the hangovers.....


Tony Reinke @ Desiring God: We're going to be talking about gambling, and not for the first time.  Pastor John, we have a handful of helpful episodes on this theme already in the podcast archive. Elsewhere, you’ve talked about how lotteries prey on the poor. That’s a point you made in a 2016 article titled “Seven Reasons Not to Play the Lottery.” Reason number five was that it preys on the poor. You made the point, but only briefly. I want to dwell on this point here on the podcast. How does the lottery prey on the poor? And why we should care that it does?

Let me begin with a few observations taken from various studies. First, just a quotation from that article that you mentioned that I wrote on this some time ago. I said that the lottery supports and encourages “a corrosive addiction that preys upon the greed and hopeless dreams of those entrapped in poverty.” Then I gave this example: “Those earning $13,000 or less spend an astounding 9 percent of their income on lottery tickets.” Now, that was a statistic from maybe six years ago or so.

Here are a few more recent things. People who make less than $10,000 a year spend on average $597 on lottery tickets — that’s 6 percent of their income. Another observation is that the odds of winning a state Powerball lottery are considerably less than being struck by lightning. For example, the odds of winning the January 21 Powerball drawing in Tennessee was 1 in 292.2 million, while the odds of a lightning strike death hover in the 1-in-2.3-million area.

Pull-Tabs and Scratch Games

So, it’s a pretty weak possibility to say the least, but let’s clarify what we’re talking about. We’re not just talking about Powerball with its million-dollar payout. There are many different kinds of public gambling, lotteries, some far more destructive for the poor than others. Lotto America, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, Instaplay, pull-tabs, scratch games — all of these created by governments to help pay the bills.

So when we think of how the poor spend money on public lotteries, we must not just think about Powerball. In fact, even poor people recognize that the chances of winning millions are so remote that that’s really not the main draw. That’s not where poor people are spending their money.

The main draw is pull-tabs and scratch games. You buy a ticket — so you can go online and just type in “Scratch Games Minnesota” and find what the offerings are. In Minnesota, the $1 ticket that you can buy online or at the gas station is called Rake It In. That’s the name of the ticket for $1. You scratch it off and you’ll know immediately if you’ve won, and the payouts are like $1, or $10, or $50, or right up to $5,000.

So, in Minnesota, the extent for the scratch-offs are from $1 all the way up to $5,000. These kinds of games are less attractive to middle-class people and upper-class people because adding $10, or $100 dollars even, to your bank account really doesn’t make that much difference to a middle-class person. But to a poor person — $10, $100, or $500 — that’s like a windfall. Therefore, the more frequent payout and the greater the likelihood of winning draws in disproportionately more poor people for these kinds of games than for, say, the big Powerball payout.

53 Cents to the Dollar

The poorest one-third of American households purchase one-half of the lottery tickets. The lowest one-fifth of earners in America have the highest percentage of lottery players. One study showed that the introduction of scratch-offs grew three times faster in poor areas than in others.

“The lottery did not become a million-dollar industry due to its large output of winners.”

But study after study has shown that, across the board, players lose on average 47 cents for every dollar. Or to say it another way, what you purchase, on average, when you spend a dollar on the lottery is 53 cents. And of course, that statistic is highly misleading because, to arrive at that average of millions of people investing, you overlook the fact that millions of those people got exactly nothing. To bring the average up to getting back 53 cents on your dollar, you have to reckon that some people have won a million dollars — a very, very few people. So it’s a truism to say the lottery did not become a million-dollar industry due to its large output of winners. That’s not the way it works.

It’s true that states have created lotteries to help pay for social services that aim at benefiting everyone, but there are ironies. Most states allocate some of the lottery income to providing services for gambling addiction, and some try to provide a good kind of education, which creates, supposedly, habits of mind and heart that are the opposite of the habits they exploit by the lottery itself. Very ironic. Addictive behaviors are more common among the poor, and living by immediate rather than deferred gratification is more common among the poor. Publicly funded gambling feeds these kinds of habits, which are destructive to people’s lives.

Regressive Tax

Now, for all these reasons, the lottery has regularly been called a regressive tax on the poor. Here’s what that means: it’s a way of luring the poor, who pay almost no taxes for social services, to pay a kind of tax in a way that worsens their situation rather than making it better, which is what taxes are supposed to do. They’re supposed to make life better for us, so this is a regressive tax in the sense that it may make life worse for the poor rather than better. Now, it would be easy to sarcastically say, “Well no, actually it’s not a tax on the poor — it’s a tax on the stupid.” I know there are a lot of people who think that way about the poor, as if the only factor in making a person poor is all their bad habits, or they might say stupid habits.

And of course, it’s true. Personal responsibility and the failure to act with righteousness, integrity, and dependence on God through grace, through patience, and through trust in Jesus Christ is a huge factor in why many people are poor. But there are many other factors as to why, say, a widow might be stuck economically — earning $20,000 a year working full time, and spending half her income on her apartment, and unable to afford a car, and facing physical and mental challenges few people know about that make advancement for her, of any kind, unlikely. There are more factors.

“When you already feel hopeless, then arguments against gambling lose most of their force.”

The number-one reason why people in such seemingly hopeless situations purchase scratch-offs is because things already look so hopeless for improvement that the so-called “stupidity” of wasting this dollar won’t really make anything worse. So why not try? That’s, I think, basically the mindset that drives most of the purchases: a sense of hopelessness. It’s not going to make things worse because there’s no hope that they could get better. And when you already feel hopeless, then arguments against gambling lose most of their force.

Consider the Poor

Now, from a biblical and Christian point of view, then, I don’t think we are the least bit encouraged by God’s word to stand aloof and roll our eyes at the stupidity of millions of dollars that roll into the state coffers from people who can barely pay their bills. I don’t think that is basically a Christian standpoint. When I read my Bible, I see a different disposition — a different heart, a different mind. For example,

  • “Blessed is the one and who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him” (Psalm 41:1).
  • “Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 17:5).
  • “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him” (Proverbs 14:31).
  • “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9).
  • “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap” (Psalm 113:7).

So, I think the upshot of all of this for Christians is that we should disapprove of and resist every form of gambling. I’ve written about that elsewhere. We’ve talked about that on APJ on several occasions. Just gambling itself is a major biblical problem. So, I think we should resist all forms of gambling, all forms of lottery, which fly in the face of how God intends for his creatures to use the resources he has entrusted to us. You don’t gamble with somebody else’s money. It’s all God’s, and we wittingly or unwittingly prey upon the vulnerabilities of the poor, and we should resist that kind of institution.

Instead, we should give our thinking, and praying, and advocating, and investing, and planning toward the removal of unnecessary barriers to productive work and gainful employment among the poor, the removal of incentives and allurements toward waste and squandering and irresponsibility, and instead seek to put in place encouragements toward deferred gratification, and finally, the creation of responsibility and hope, especially through the gospel in people’s lives.


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Greg Morse @ Desiring God---Desperate For Distractions, Why We're Bad at Being Alone

January 9, 2022 Desperate for Distraction Why We’re Bad at Being Alone Article by Greg Morse Staff writer, 

A slight breeze of discomfort blows a thought through my mind: What am I doing here? The room I’ve known for years suddenly takes an awkward shape. The silence, the stillness gives everything an unnatural quality, like a deer’s head mounted on a wall. Eyes are open, yet nothing moves. 


As I finally settle into the stillness, distractions offer themselves from all sides. “My Father who art in heaven,” I begin to pray, “hallowed be thy name. In my city, exalt your name. In my life” — why are my feet so cold? 

After I tiptoe back with socks, I kneel. Where was I? 

 Oh yes. “Exalt your name in my life, Lord. And please make your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” — wait, what was that sound? One of the kids? What time is it? It cannot be. 

As I glance down the hall, I notice books disjointed on the shelves beside me. Hmm, I should really read Holiness again. . . . I still can’t believe Amazon shipped the book with that damaged corner — I should have returned it. Packages, packages . . . wasn’t something supposed to come yesterday? What was it again?

 Running from Solitude 

Of late, I’ve noticed I’ve been getting worse at being alone. That sanctuary of solitude with God, a place where hours could pass unnoticed, has fallen victim to a life filled with activity. “Quiet times” have become harder to bear. Money-changers now sit in my house of prayer, noisily selling pigeons and livestock. And what is worse, I invited them in. But why?

That sanctuary of solitude with God, a place where hours could pass unnoticed, has fallen victim to a life filled with noise.” Blaise Pascal explains well enough why the unredeemed world hates silence. “Diversion. Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things” (Christianity for Modern Pagans, 170). Pascal sees men without God fleeing their Creator, and themselves, at every turn. This world swirls with hustle and bustle, men busily chase what they don’t want because fallen humanity will not — cannot — endure the frowning thoughts that meet them in stillness. Thus, clamor keeps back the awful light of self-knowledge, the unwelcome truth that Adam’s race is a terminal patient, busy building vanities upon the seashore to keep him from considering that he is a creature, dying. Or as Jesus depicted, a branch withering, soon to be cast into the fire and burned (John 15:6). 

Read the rest....

Thursday, January 6, 2022

I'm With Jason Whitlock---So Good to See Tucker Brutally Confront Ted Cruz

 IT WAS A RARE, POIGNANT TV MOMENT TONIGHT  WHEN TUCKER CARLSON CONFRONTED ON HIS SHOW Senator Ted Cruz over Cruz's characterization of last year's January 6 Capitol rioters as 'violent terrorists.'  

Cruz evidently contacted Carlson aferwards asking to come on his show to  'explain'  his earlier mischaracterization of January 6 rioters as terrorists.   Cruz made a weak attempt to cover his tracts, but Tucker wasn't buying it.  said he didn't believe Cruz.  As the interview ended and Cruz, whom I have liked and supported,  weakly apologized, I thought Cruz had probably dug himself further in a political grave.  Jason  Whitlock who followed Cruz on the show congratulated Tucker for holding this elected official accountable. Whitlock said he was proud of Carlson, and so am I.

We need more, much more of this kind of interviewing.  And while both agreed Cruz was courageous to come on, it's hard to believe he did little to reverse the hard feelings engendered  with conservatives over his earlier remarks.

Monday, January 3, 2022

First Day of Snow, Cold

THE COVERED PORCH OFFERS LITTLE RESPITE in 20 degree temps.  But it's nice to have it be winter for now.  

Sunday, January 2, 2022

First Sunday January



Devotional by John Piper 

Just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27–28)

The death of Jesus bears sins. This is the very heart of Christianity, and the heart of the gospel, and the heart of God’s great work of redemption in the world. When Christ died he bore sins. He took sins not his own. He suffered for sins that others had done, so that they could be free from sins.

This is the answer to the greatest problem in your life, whether you feel it as the main problem or not. There is an answer to how we can get right with God in spite of being sinners. The answer is that Christ’s death is an offering “to bear the sins of many.” He lifted our sins and carried them to the cross and died there the death that we deserved to die.

Now what does this mean for my dying? “It is appointed [to me] to die once.” It means that my death is no longer punitive. My death is no longer a punishment for sin. My sin has been borne away. My sin is “put away” by the death of Christ. Christ took the punishment.

Why then do I die at all? Because God wills that death remain in the world for now, even among his own children, as an abiding testimony to the extreme horror of sin. In our dying we still manifest the external effects of sin in the world.

But death for God’s children is no longer his wrath against them. It has become our entrance into salvation not condemnation.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

At the Gas Pump Today

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT  DUE.  Yes Biden did that and so much more. How and where do we get these stickers? Answer: Amazon

Friday, December 24, 2021

G-Boy Sends This Wonderrful Lego Video: WW1 Christmas Truce, 1914


Twas the Night Before CHRISTIANS


Monday, December 20, 2021

Advent---The Virgin Mary's Magnificent, Revolutionary, Dangerous Song of Praise, The Magnificat

DID YOU KNOW, The Magnificat was considered a dangerous song of praise in some countries? To wit: Revolutionaries, the poor and the oppressed, all loved Mary and they emphasized her glorious song. But the Magnificat has been viewed as dangerous by people in power. Some countries — such as India, Guatemala, and Argentina — have outright banned the Magnificat from being recited in liturgy or in public. It's easy to see why, especially in countries with a caste system and great pockets of poverty.

LUKE 46-55, The Magnificat:

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 

48 for he has looked on the lowliness of his servant. Henceforth on all generations will call me blessed; 

49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 

50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 

51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 

52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;

 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. 

54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A Psalm For Kyle Rittenhouse, To Be Repeated Now and Going Forward


PSALM 124 

1 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; 

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.



While there is a collective sigh of  relief that Kyle was exonerated in the outcome of a trial that should never have been, this young man has many challenges in front of him.  His life will never be the same. This psalm should remind him, and us, that we survive now and always by the Grace of God.


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sunday, Prophet Amos Pronounces Judgment for God on Modern Countries

From Amos 2

WOE TO CHINA. In this century she has butchered fifty million of her own people in the name of equality. Proud and haughty, she maintains an officially atheistic stance, persecuting the church while that church, nurtured by the blood of the martyrs, has in half a century multiplied fifty times. 

Woe to Russia. In the second decade of this century she embarked on a massive social experiment that resulted in the deaths of more than forty million people. She subjugated nation after nation, so certain was she that the tide of history was on her side. She became excellent at producing the “revolutionary man,” but could not produce the promised “new man” of Marxist thought, and so hid behind illusions and lies until her economic incompetence brought her down. 

Woe to Germany. Privileged to serve as home to some of the greatest Reformers, she became extraordinarily arrogant intellectually, and in this century started two world wars that wreaked death and havoc, including the horrors of the Nazis, on countless millions. Today she builds excellent BMWs but has a materialist soul, worshiping nothing greater than the deutsche mark. 

Woe to Great Britain. At one time ruler of one-quarter of the world’s population; inheritor of some of the greatest Christian thought and literature ever produced, she became ever more proud and condescending to the nations she colonized and the people she enslaved. Having repeatedly squandered a heritage of the knowledge of God, she thrashes around directionless and degraded. 

Woe to Canada. She likes to think of herself as morally superior to her nearest neighbor, while hiding under the U.S. military umbrella. Sliding toward a moral abyss, her Supreme Court issues decisions that are as morally corrosive as any in the Western world, while the English-French factionalism drives toward enmity and breakup for want of courtesy and respect from both sides. 

Woe to the United States. She prides herself on being the only world power left, but never reflects on how God has brought low every world power in history. Her cherished freedoms, so great a heritage, have increasingly become a facade to hide and then defend the grossest immorality and selfishness. To the nation at large, no issue, absolutely none, is more important than the state of the economy.

 This is the reasoning of Amos. In Amos 1, he circles around the pagan neighbors, articulating the judgment of God. Here in Amos 2, he moves to Moab, Judah (“Canada”), and finally brings it home to Israel. Israelite audiences would begin with smug contentment during the early parts: how would they end up? And understand: the sequence of my “Woes,” above, could have been rearranged to end with any country—with your country. 

From Read the Bible and The Gospel Coalition


2:1 Thus says the LORD:

  “For three transgressions of Moab,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,1
  because he burned to lime
    the bones of the king of Edom.
  So I will send a fire upon Moab,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
  and Moab shall die amid uproar,
    amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
  I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
    and will kill all its princes2 with him,”
      says the LORD.

Judgment on Judah

Thus says the LORD:

  “For three transgressions of Judah,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
  because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
    and have not kept his statutes,
  but their lies have led them astray,
    those after which their fathers walked.
  So I will send a fire upon Judah,
    and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.”

Judgment on Israel

Thus says the LORD:

  “For three transgressions of Israel,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
  because they sell the righteous for silver,
    and the needy for a pair of sandals—
  those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth
    and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
  a man and his father go in to the same girl,
    so that my holy name is profaned;
  they lay themselves down beside every altar
    on garments taken in pledge,
  and in the house of their God they drink
    the wine of those who have been fined.
  “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
    whose height was like the height of the cedars
    and who was as strong as the oaks;
  I destroyed his fruit above
    and his roots beneath.
10   Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
    and led you forty years in the wilderness,
    to possess the land of the Amorite.
11   And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
    and some of your young men for Nazirites.
    Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?”
      declares the LORD.
12   “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
    and commanded the prophets,
    saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’
13   “Behold, I will press you down in your place,
    as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
14   Flight shall perish from the swift,
    and the strong shall not retain his strength,
    nor shall the mighty save his life;
15   he who handles the bow shall not stand,
    and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
    nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
16   and he who is stout of heart among the mighty
    shall flee away naked in that day,”
      declares the LORD.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Exemplary Leadership Qualities of Nehemiah In the Old Testament


Nehemiah 5:14-19

Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor. 15 The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. 16 I also persevered in the work on this wall, and we acquired no land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Moreover, there were at my table 150 men, Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. 18 Now what was prepared at my expense for each day was one ox and six choice sheep and birds, and every ten days all kinds of wine in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the service was too heavy on this people. 19 Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.


Thought for the Day

What sort of leaders do we want? So often when an individual reaches a position of leadership in politics, business, and alas, in church life, there is a tendency for it to go to their head in some way. Some become bullies, others narcissists, others still feather their own nest, and for many their pride takes on a flavor that leaves a very nasty taste in everyone else’s mouth. Reaching the top of the tree can turn men and women with the highest values and most selfless motives when they set out, into a parody of what they used to be. Not so with Nehemiah. There are no other named political leaders who are privileged to be authors of one or another part of Scripture – but Nehemiah is, and this short passage describes the principles that shaped his twelve years of governorship. There was no freeloading in his administration, and he probably left office a much poorer man. The reason for this was that he was concerned for the wellbeing of the people as they were seeking to establish a firm foothold for the Jews back in the Promised Land. Not only that, but he and his men took off their shirts, rolled up their sleeves, and worked alongside Jews from every background rebuilding the wall that would guarantee the safety of Jerusalem and the LORD’s Temple. Now there is no reason why someone in leadership should impoverish themselves when they take on their responsibilities, but a lot of the ways they might enrich themselves might be highly questionable. What was behind Nehemiah’s approach to leadership? He was a man who knew the Hebrew Bible, and no doubt he had meditated, prayed over, and pondered upon the words of the prophet Micah written three centuries earlier:

He has told you, O man or woman, what is good;

    and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

    and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

We do well to measure ourselves as well as those who lead us in the nation, the state, our business life and religious life against this standard.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

New P&G Video Portends More Imminent, Widespread Shortages and Should Concern Us All



This horrendous president that the liberals and Trump-haters have elected is wrecking our country in the most profound ways possible and, I fear, we ain't seen nothing yet.  Not even close. And what we can get in the grocery stores etc. will be more and more expensive. Prepare now as best you can, while you can for this perfect storm.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday: The Reformation of English, How William Tyndale's Bible Translation Transformed Our Language



IN THE LATE SUMMER OR FALL OF 1525, sheets of thin sewn paper bounced across the English Channel, hidden in bales of cloth and sacks of flour. They passed silently, secretly, from the Channel to the London shipyards, from the shipyards to the hands of smiths and cooks, sailors and cobblers, priests and politicians, mothers and fathers and children. De-clothed and un-floured, the first lines read,

I have here translated (bretheren and sisters most dear and tenderly beloved in Christ) the new Testament for your spiritual edifying, consolation, and solace.

And then, a few pages later:

This is the book of the generation of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son also of Abraham . . .

Here was the Gospel of Matthew, translated from the original Greek into English for the very first time. The entire New Testament would soon follow, and then portions of the Old Testament, before its translator, William Tyndale (1494–1536), would be found and killed for his work.

Reforming English

For centuries past, a normal Englishman might have thought God spoke Latin. England’s only legal Bible was a Latin Bible, translated over a millennium prior by the church father Jerome (who died in 420). For them, the Psalms were simply the songs of a foreign land. The Ten Commandments rumbled toward them with no more clarity than Sinai’s thunder. They knew, perhaps, that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us — but apart from bits and snatches, they had never heard him speak their language. Until now.

Over the following years, some would burn this book, and some would be burned for it. Some would smuggle this book into England, and some would cast it out. But the book itself, once translated, could not be forgotten. Illegal or not, the English Scriptures would find their way into English pulpits and English hearts, reforming England through its mother tongue.

And along the way, another reformation would take place — a reformation often overlooked, and yet, one could argue, just as far reaching. Tyndale’s translation would reform not only England, but English; it would shape the future not only of English religion, but of the English language. As biographer David Daniell writes, “Newspaper headlines still quote Tyndale, though unknowingly, and he has reached more people than even Shakespeare” (William Tyndale, 2).

Dangers of Translation

From a distance of five hundred years, we may struggle to grasp how the English Christian church could possibly oppose the English Christian Scriptures. For, amazingly enough, it was the church that banned and burned this book. The Catholic authorities of Tyndale’s day offered at least two reasons.

First, translation is inherently dangerous. In the early 1400s, a generation after John Wycliffe (1328–1384) had published the first English Bible (translated from the Latin Vulgate, however, rather than the Hebrew and Greek), the Constitutions of Oxford declared,

It is a dangerous thing, as witnesseth blessed St. Jerome, to translate the text of the Holy Scripture out of one tongue into another, for in the translation the same sense is not always easily kept. . . . We therefore decree and ordain, that no man, hereafter, by his own authority translate any text of the Scripture into English or any other tongue . . . and that no man can read any such book . . . in part or in whole.

The priests and magistrates of Tyndale’s day enforced such laws with a vengeance, sometimes burning Christians alive simply for possessing the Lord’s Prayer in English. An English Bible, of course, posed more danger to a corrupt church than to a common Christian. Even still, such was their position: translation was simply too dangerous.

Our Rude and Rusty Tongue

Apart from translation itself being seen as dangerous, however, the idea of an English translation was considered “ridiculous.” “The English language, when Tyndale began to write,” says Daniell, “was a poor thing, spoken only by a few in an island off the shelf of Europe. . . . In 1500 it was as irrelevant to life in Europe as today’s Scots Gaelic is to the city of London” (The Bible in English, 248).

Though English sufficed for everyday communication, Latin dominated the highest spheres of life. Magistrates wrote in Latin. Professors wrote (and taught) in Latin. Literary works appeared in Latin. The clergy conducted their services in Latin. How then could the Bible be translated into English?

A poem from John Skelton, written in the early 1500s, captures the supposed absurdity of an English translation:

Our natural tong is rude,
And hard to be enneude [revived]
With pullyshed terms lusty;
Our language is so rusty,
So cankered and so full
Of frowardes [awkward words], and so dull,
That if I wolde apply
To wryte ornately,
I wot not where to fynd
Terms to serve my mynde. (273)

Such a rude and rusty tongue could not carry the oracles of God. Or so the authorities thought.

Bible for Plowboys

William Tyndale grew up, along with every other boy his age, hearing the word of God in Latin. The Lord’s Prayer did not begin, “Our Father, which art in heaven,” but “Pater noster, qui es in caelis.” And like some other boys his age, he spent his school days preparing to speak that Latin word as a priest to the next generation.

But he never did — or at least not for long. We know few of the reasons Tyndale grew weary of a Latin-only religion and began to burn to read the Bible in English. Perhaps he noticed that, of all Europe in the 1520s, England alone had no legal vernacular translation (Bible in English, 249). Perhaps he heard about — and even read — Martin Luther’s groundbreaking German Bible, published in 1522. Perhaps he noticed all the Catholic corruption that only a mute Bible could endorse. And perhaps, as an extraordinary linguist himself, he heard far more potential in our English tongue than did the church of his day.

We do know, however, that when twentysomething Tyndale heard a certain man say, “We were better be without God’s law than the pope’s,” he answered, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. . . . If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough, shall know more of the scripture than thou dost” (William Tyndale, 79). The gospel of the Scriptures, Tyndale knew, “maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance, and leap for joy” (123). But how would the plowboy sing if he understood not a lick of that gospel?

And so, Tyndale began to translate. He went first to London, to see if he could find any support for his work close to home. Finding none, he left London for the continent, and there set to work on a translation that would give the plowboy not only the Bible, but the Bible clothed in an English so fair it would endure for centuries.

Tyndale’s Translation

In the judgment of one scholar, Tyndale “was responsible almost single-handedly for making the native language, which at the start of the sixteenth century was barely respectable in educated circles, into the supple, powerful, sensitive vehicle it had become by the time of Shakespeare” (The King James Version at 400, 316). Another goes so far as to say, “There is truth in the remark, ‘Without Tyndale, no Shakespeare’” (William Tyndale, 158). Under Tyndale’s pen, English grew from callow youth to mature man, capable of expressing the subtleties and profundities of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.

But how did he do it? By focusing all of his linguistic genius toward two great goals: “First,” Daniell writes, “to understand the Greek and Hebrew of the original Bible texts as well as it was then humanly possible to do. Secondly, to write in English that above all, and at all times, made sense” (92). Accuracy and clarity were Tyndale’s hallmarks, and they made for an English at once strangely new and strikingly familiar.

Moses Speaking English

First, Tyndale’s commitment to accuracy gave his English a strange newness. A foreign flavor clung to his English phrases, as if his language traveled abroad and came home with a new accent.

Sometimes, readers felt the change in the totally new words Tyndale coined to capture the meaning of the text. Intercession, atonement, Passover, mercy seat, scapegoat — these are all Tyndalisms, the work of a wordsmith in his forge. Alistair McGrath comments, “It can be seen immediately that biblical translation thus provided a major stimulus to the development of the English language, not least by creating new English words to accommodate biblical ideas” (The Word of God in English, 61).

Tyndale forged not only new words, however, but a new style, especially in his translations of the Old Testament. Striving for literalness, he crafted a kind of Hebraic English, as if Moses should speak English in the patterns of his native tongue. For example, strange as it may seem, the simple construction “the+noun+of+the+noun” — “the beasts of the field,” “the birds of the air” — came into English through Tyndale’s translation of a Hebrew form called the construct chain (William Tyndale, 285). Tyndale could have fitted this Hebrew form into existing English syntax; instead, he invented a new English form, and thus adorned our English with Hebrew robes.

“Following the syntactic contours of the Hebrew,” Robert Alter writes, “achieved a new kind of compelling effect, at once lofty and almost stark” (The King James Bible and the World It Made, 136). And more examples could be listed. The influence of Hebrew on our language (and to a lesser extent Greek), Daniell argues, is nothing short of “immense” (William Tyndale, 289) — and the credit is largely due to Tyndale. By grasping the original languages so tightly, he brought much of them back into English, to our great enrichment.

Scripture in Plain Language

Alongside that strange newness, however, was a striking familiarity, born from Tyndale’s commitment to clarity. His English may have traveled abroad, but it never lost touch with its roots — and particularly its Saxon roots.....

Please read the whole fascinating article.