Thursday, September 3, 2020

Continuing, The Chosen--Episode 4

IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunday Collect For the Breathtaking Second Coming of Christ

Collect for the Day
Ten thousand times ten thousand,
In sparkling raiment bright,
The armies of the ransomed saints
Throng up the steeps of light.
'Tis finished, all is finished,
Their fight with death and sin;
Fling open wide the golden gates
And let the victors in.

What rush of alleluias
Fills all the earth and sky!
What ringing of a thousand harps
Proclaims the triumph nigh!
O day, for which creation
And all its tribes were made;
O joy, for all its former woes
A thousandfold repaid!

O then what raptured greetings
On Canaan's happy shore;
What knitting severed friendships up
Where partings are no more!
Then eyes with joy shall sparkle
That brimmed with tears of late;
Orphans no longer fatherless
Nor widows desolate.

Bring near Thy great salvation,
Thou Lamb for sinners slain;
Fill up the roll of Thine elect,
Then take Thy pow'r and reign.
Appear, Desire of Nations;
Thine exiles long for home.
Show in the heav'ns Thy promised sign;
Thou Prince and Savior, come!
(This hymn-prayer was written by the Very Revd. Henry Alford who was for twenty years Dean of Canterbury Cathedral)
 
*********
 
2 Corinthians 5:1-10

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened-not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
 
Thought for the Day
Having compared our present circumstances to being like earthen vessels which contain our 'treasure,' Paul now talks about what is beyond the days of those earthen vessels which is "our heavenly dwelling." He doesn't talk about it as dying, but about that which is mortal being "swallowed up by life." What we consider to be living now is nothing when compared to that which awaits us. Then he tells us that the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is our guarantee. This Greek word is hard to translate but it can be considered as a 'down payment,' or the 'appetizer' or 'hors d'oevre' of what is to come. We are given a glimpse into the lobby of eternity, as it were. Paul then assets that while we are here on earth we are away, the heavenly delight of eternity is that we will be "at home with the Lord." This is strong stuff but it gives the life we live now an eternal horizon, breathtaking and beyond words.
 
Thanksgiving for the Day
We praise and thank God for this picture Paul gives to us of our eternal, heavenly destiny.
 
From Richard Kew's Daily Devotional this week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

RNC Convention A Complete Homerun

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE TRUMP/PENCE ADMINISTRATION over the past three and a half years are undeniably stunning.  All this in the face of incredible resistance and hate.  The convention has highlighted how the average, and often forgotten, middle class men and women  and  everyday heros have benefitted from tax and regulation cuts, school choice, parental rights and pro-life stance,  religious freedom and immigration and prison  reforms. There's so much more, but for now I'm going back to Fox News and Mike Pence's
acceptance speech. 

God bless America and watch over the many people in the path of Hurricane Laura making landfall later tonight.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Chosen Episode 3, Jesus Teaches the Children In a Field

 

THIS IS A TEACHING FOR ALL OF US IN A NATURAL SETTING THAT'S PERFECT AND PRECIOUS FOR CONNECTING WITH CHILDREN. 

Matthew 18:1-5: He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Chosen, Episode Two of Eight In Season One

 

THIS IS AN AMAZING MULTI-YEAR SERIES based on the Gospels of Jesus Christ as seen and experienced by the Messiah's disciples, converts and followers.  Conceived, written and directed by Dallas Jenkins, it is wonderful to watch as he leads his writers, cast and crew under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  These men and women need our prayers and whatever donations we are led to make.  More about that in the videos.

May these films be transported to the far corners of the earth via social media and the Internet in every language in order to reach every person God intends it to reach.

Glory to God!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Chosen, First Episode of Eight In Season One

STUNNING DEPICTION OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST JESUS. May this series go out to the ends of this fallen, hurting, frightened world and bring new life, new conversions, real hope in His glorious, everlasting kingdom.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Pastor John Piper: Does God Intend Evil For Our Good? Ask Joseph In Genesis

WONDERFUL FATHER'S DAY MESSAGE @ DESIRING GOD This is the way God works and it is magnificent in our eyes!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Ex Army Ranger Republican Sean Parnell Runs For Congress With One Fun, Clever Ad

VIA TYLER O'NEIL @ PJMedia:

Sean Parnell, a former Army Ranger who won a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars, is challenging Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) in Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District. His campaign released a hilarious “Dollar Sean Club” ad mimicking the style of Dollar Shave Club ads. His ad manages to slam House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

I'm With General Petraeus: Take the (Losing) Confederate Names Off Our Army Bases

DON SURBER:  NO COLUMBUS, NO FREEDOM,  OR KEEP THE STATUES OF COLUMBUS, TOSS THE CONFEDERATE TRAITORS
 

PETRAEUS' LETTER @ ATLANTIC MAGAZINE

AS I have watched Confederate monuments being removed by state and local governments, and sometimes by the forceful will of the American people, the fact that 10 U.S. Army installations are named for Confederate officers has weighed on me. That number includes the Army’s largest base, one very special to many in uniform: Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. The highway sign for Bragg proclaims it Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces. I had three assignments there during my career. Soldiers stationed at Bragg are rightly proud to serve in its elite units. Some call it “the Center of the Military Universe,” “the Mother Ship,” or even “Hallowed Ground.” But Braxton Bragg—the general for whom the base was named—served in the Confederate States Army.

 The United States is now wrestling with repeated instances of abusive policing caught on camera, the legacies of systemic racism, the challenges of protecting freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights while thwarting criminals who seek to exploit lawful protests, and debates over symbols glorifying those who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The way we resolve these issues will define our national identity for this century and beyond. Yesterday afternoon, an Army spokesperson said that Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy is now “open to a bipartisan discussion” on renaming the bases. That’s the right call. Once the names of these bases are stripped of the obscuring power of tradition and folklore, renaming the installations becomes an easy, even obvious, decision.

My life in uniform essentially unfolded at a series of what might be termed “rebel forts.” I made many parachute jumps with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, and I also jumped with 82nd Airborne paratroopers at Fort Pickett, in Virginia (a National Guard post), and Fort Polk, in Louisiana. I made official visits to Virginia’s Forts Pickett and Lee, to Texas’s Fort Hood, and to Alabama’s Fort Rucker.* In Georgia, I visited Fort Gordon, and I attended Airborne School, Ranger School, and the Infantry Officer Basic Course—rites of passage for countless infantry soldiers—at Fort Benning. At the time, I was oblivious to the fact that what was then called the “Home of the Infantry” was named for Henry L. Benning, a Confederate general who was such an enthusiast for slavery that as early as 1849 he argued for the dissolution of the Union and the formation of a Southern slavocracy. Fort Benning’s physical location, on former Native American territory that became the site of a plantation, itself illustrates the turbulent layers beneath the American landscape.

It would be years before I reflected on the individuals for whom these posts were named. While on active duty, in fact, I never thought much about these men—about the nature of their service during the Civil War, their postwar activities (which in John Brown Gordon’s case likely included a leadership role in the first Ku Klux Klan), the reasons they were honored, or the timing of the various forts’ dedications. Nor did I think about the messages those names sent to the many African Americans serving on these installations—messages that should have been noted by all of us. Like many aspects of the military, the forts themselves were so shrouded in tradition that everything about them seemed rock solid, time tested, immortal. Their names had taken on new layers of meaning that allowed us to ignore the individuals for whom they were named.

In the course of their professional development, soldiers often study the tactical and operational skills of leaders who fought for dubious causes. Learning how to win a particular kind of battle is different than learning how to win a war. Intellectual appreciation of a given general’s tactical genius, however, should not become wholesale admiration or a species of devotion. When I was a cadet at West Point in the early 1970s, enthusiasm for Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson was widespread. We were not encouraged to think deeply about the cause for which they had fought, at least not in our military-history classes. And throughout my Army career, I likewise encountered enthusiastic adherents of various Confederate commanders, and a special veneration for Lee.

It also happens that—Lee excepted—most of the Confederate generals for whom our bases are named were undistinguished, if not incompetent, battlefield commanders. Braxton Bragg, for example, left a great deal to be desired as a military leader. After graduating from West Point in 1837, he served in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican War. His reputation for physical bravery was matched by one for epic irascibility. Bragg’s temper was so bad, Ulysses S. Grant recounted in his memoirs, that an old Army story had a superior once rebuking him, “My God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarreled with every officer in the army, and now you are quarrelling with yourself!” Bragg’s inability to cooperate diluted his effectiveness until his resounding defeat at the Battle of Chattanooga, in November 1863, precipitated his resignation from the Confederate army.

For an organization designed to win wars to train for them at installations named for those who led a losing force is sufficiently peculiar, but when we consider the cause for which these officers fought, we begin to penetrate the confusion of Civil War memory. These bases are, after all, federal installations, home to soldiers who swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention. Now, belatedly, is the moment for us to pay such attention.

It gives me considerable pause, for example, to note that my alma mater, West Point, honors Robert E. Lee with a gate, a road, an entire housing area, and a barracks, the last of which was built during the 1960s. A portrait of Lee with an enslaved person adorns a wall of the cadet library, the counterpoint to a portrait of Grant, his Civil War nemesis, on a nearby wall.

Lee’s history is, in fact, thoroughly woven through that of West Point and the Army. Before he was the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, Lee was an outstanding cadet, a distinguished chief of engineers in the Mexican War, and later the West Point superintendent. I do not propose that we erase his role in this history. We can learn from his battlefield skill and, beyond that, from his human frailty, his conflicting loyalties, and the social pressures that led him to choose Virginia over the United States. If we attempt to repress the fact of his existence from our institutional memory, we risk falling into the trap of authoritarian regimes, which routinely and comprehensively obliterate whole swaths of national history as if they never happened at all. What distinguishes democracies is their capacity to debate even the most contentious issues vigorously and in informed, respectful, deliberate ways and to learn from the errors of the past. But remembering Lee’s strengths and weaknesses, his military and personal successes and failures, is different from venerating him.

Confederate memorialization is only the most obvious expression of formerly acceptable sentiments now regarded critically by many Americans. Once unreservedly celebrated figures like Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson, to name just three, held convictions and behaved in ways we now find deeply troubling. It is indicative of the complexity of the problem that while the stained-glass window honoring Robert E. Lee in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., was removed, that of Wilson, an ardent segregationist, remains (after a healthy debate).
But Confederate leaders are different from these other examples not simply in degree, but in kind: Plainly put, Lee, Bragg, and the rest committed treason, however much they may have agonized over it.* The majority of them had worn the uniform of the U.S. Army, and that Army should not brook any celebration of those who betrayed their country.

A long-standing maxim for those in uniform is that one should never begin a war without also knowing how to end it. And this is a kind of war—a war of memory. The forts named for Confederate generals were established before the formulation of the rules now codified in Army Regulation 1-33, which sets the criteria for memorializing soldiers. But, as is so often the case when the Army is found to have fallen short of its elemental values, it also possesses the remedy. While the regulation states, “Rememorializing or rededicating actions are strongly discouraged, and seldom appropriate,” it also outlines a clear administrative process to follow when they are. This is the moment to pursue that process.

We could probably disqualify the rebel generals on a technicality: After all, none of them were actually in the U.S. Army when they performed the actions for which they were honored. Nonetheless, I would prefer to disqualify them on the grounds that they do not meet the letter or spirit of the regulation’s second criterion: “Memorializations will honor deceased heroes and other deceased distinguished individuals of all races in our society, and will present them as inspirations to their fellow Soldiers, employees, and other citizens.”

The magic of the republic to which many of us dedicated our professional lives is that its definition of equality has repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to broaden. And America’s military has often led social change, especially in the area of racial integration. We do not live in a country to which Braxton Bragg, Henry L. Benning, or Robert E. Lee can serve as an inspiration. Acknowledging this fact is imperative. Should it fail to do so, the Army, which prides itself on leading the way in perilous times, will be left to fight a rearguard action against a more inclusive American future, one that fulfills the nation’s founding promise.
*******
David Petraeus is a retired U.S. Army general and served as the CIA director from 2011 to 2012.



Sunday, June 7, 2020

APJ: What Exactly Is Binding and Loosening In the Biblical Sense? Is It Relevant Today?

UPDATE: SUPREME COURT MAY CHANGE THE FUTURE OF ABORTION
 

ASK PASTOR JOHN and listen here @ Desiring God 

Spoiler alert:  It's not the answer you might expect.

Audio Transcript

QUESTION:

Jesus told us to bind and loose. But is this practice relevant for the church today? Pastor John joins us over Skype today to address this question from a listener named Joe. “Hello, Pastor John! Jesus told the disciples that whatever they would bind or loose on earth would be so in heaven. The church has the ‘keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ meaning, ‘Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ (Matthew 16:19). So what can a local church bind and loose? And what could I and a Christian friend bind and loose? Does this text have any relevant application to the church today?”

Yes — the answer is yes. It’s relevant. It is relevant for today. It’s always been relevant. In every age of the church, it’s relevant. And yes, Joe, if you are a true follower of Jesus, you and your friend, as a true follower of Jesus, can bind and loose in the way that Jesus means it here.

Core Discipleship

So let’s read it, make sure we get the whole context, and then I’ll try to explain what I think it means and how it’s relevant. I’m reading Matthew 16:15–19. Jesus says to his disciples,
“Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
So Jesus asked the disciples who they believe he is. He’s getting at the core issue of discipleship: the identity of Jesus Christ. Whatever else Jesus teaches, if they don’t get this right, they don’t get anything right. It will all be distorted if it’s not built on this central bedrock of Jesus’s teaching about who he is.

Peter answers correctly, “You are the Christ [the Messiah], the Son of the living God. You’re the Messiah — not just any ordinary human messiah, but the unique divine Son of God.” And then Jesus makes clear that Peter did not come up with this on his own: “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” In other words, this central, bedrock core of Jesus’s teaching — namely, his true reality — is a work of God in the mind of Peter, not a work of man. And therefore, he calls Peter blessed. “You’re blessed because God has given you this insight.”

Then Jesus makes a play on words, because Peter’s name, Petros, means rock or stone. So Jesus says, “You are Petros, and on this rock [petra], this bedrock” — they’re not the same words. I’ll come back to that. They’re almost the same. There’s a wordplay. “You are Petros, and on this petra” — “You are a rock, and on this bedrock I’ll build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

Bedrock of the Church

Now, before we jump to the conclusion that Peter alone here is made the foundation of the church, notice three things.

1. Jesus did not say, “On you I will build my church,” which he very easily could have said. He said instead, “On this bedrock [petra] I will build my church.”

2. Even though Jesus says to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” that very same thing Jesus says to Christians in general, with the very same words, two chapters later in Matthew 18:18: “Truly, I say to you [plural — not you, Peter, but you, plural, who are gathered in my name], whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” That’s the second observation.

3. Jesus does not say, “You are Petros, and on this petros I will build my church.” He says, “You are Petros, and on this petra I will build my church.” Petra has a different connotation than petros — it’s not a loose stone; it’s bedrock stone. Here’s what I mean: In Matthew 27:60, where it says that Jesus’s tomb was cut out of the petra, the bedrock, that doesn’t mean it was cut out of a loose stone — like, here’s a stone, it maybe weighs ten pounds, it’s found on the side of the road, and he cut a grave in that stone. Well, that doesn’t work.

What he means is the side of this mountain is stone. This is a massive bedrock where you’d build something, and so you carve into this bedrock. That’s the connotation of petra. It’s not a loose stone like petros. Petra is bedrock. The same word is used in Matthew 7:24: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock [petra]” — not a pile of stones, not gravel, but the bedrock ground in the side of the mountain that you dig down into till you’ve got a good foundation. The bedrock is solid and permanent; it’s the teachings of Jesus, which he says can never pass away.
“Take your stand on the bedrock of Jesus’s word, with the reality of Jesus himself at the center.”
So, my understanding, in view of those three observations, is that the bedrock on which the church is built is the bedrock of Jesus’s teachings, with the rock-solid core of his identity — “you are the Messiah; you are the Son of God” — at the center of those teachings. And since Peter is the one who made that confession in this case, he’s treated as the representative of all those who would faithfully lift up the teachings of Jesus and the word of Jesus with the true reality of who he is at the center or as the bedrock of the church.

Turn the Key of Heaven

So, it’s these teachings of Jesus that are the keys of the kingdom, when he says, “I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom.” Which means that when you speak, Peter — or according to Matthew 18:18, when any faithful Christian who speaks the words with the bedrock of Jesus’s identity at the center — when you speak those words faithfully, you are using the keys of the kingdom to open the kingdom in people’s lives.

Here’s a clue that I think confirms we’re on the right track, from Luke 11:52: “Woe to you lawyers!” Jesus said. “For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” This is the key of the kingdom, the key of knowledge: the key of the teachings of Jesus, with the reality of Jesus himself at the center. That knowledge, that faithful proclamation of the word of Christ, with Christ’s identity at the center, truly taught, opens the kingdom to people’s lives. That knowledge withheld or distorted closes the kingdom to people.

And when Jesus says, “Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven” — which is the right future perfect translation of the verb tense. When Jesus says, “Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven,” he means that in all of this human key-turning — turning of the keys of the knowledge of God — we are doing what God has decided should come to pass. Our teaching is essential; God’s will is decisive.
So, Joe, you and your friend, and I would say all faithful Christians, can take your stand — and you should take your stand — on the bedrock of Jesus’s word, with the reality of Jesus himself at the center, and speak it. And in so doing, you will turn the key of heaven in people’s lives and open the kingdom to them.





Saturday, June 6, 2020

A Star Is Born In Randy Williams: Protester Single Handedly Negotiates Post-Curfew Truce With NYPD


THE BLACK COMMUNITY NEEDS MORE BLACK LEADERS, ROLE MODELS AND MENTORS WORKING IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES, INTERFACING WITH THE POLICE AND COURTS FOR TRUE AND LASTING CHANGE TO TAKE PLACE. IT WOULD BE A START. RANDY WILLIAMS IS SUCH A MAN. 
 

 By Georget Roberts @ NYPOST

Give this man, Randy Williams, a diplomatic job.

A savvy Brooklyn dad starred as a one-man negotiating team between hundreds of fellow protesters and a row of dozens of NYPD officers in Park Slope on Friday night — singlehandedly ending a tense, post-curfew standoff.

“They kept their men in check,” Randy Williams, 38, said after the remarkable detente he struck by approaching an NYPD captain as he and fellow protesters massed near Grand Army Plaza.

“For the first time in a very long time the police and the community came together,” Williams told The Post.

The father-of-four and the captain struck an agreement: the protesters would remain non-violent if the police did so as well.

And the captain, he said, agreed to let the protest continue past the 8 p.m. curfew, at least for a time.

“I told the captain a little after 8, we don’t want the same thing from the night before,” when police used batons to subdue protesters in the South Bronx who did not disperse after curfew, Williams said.

“I don’t want any of my people, meaning the protesters and people from this community, getting hurt the same way,” said Williams, a music producer.

“I don’t want none of his officers getting hurt. I told him we stayed in check, we stayed non-violent and last night he didn’t keep his officers in check.

“He made me a promise tonight that he would make sure that all of his officers were in check, and we would be allowed to protest peacefully past curfew.

He added, “I showed that we can trust the police.  Not all of them are bad."


“He wouldn’t let it go on all night, but he would allow us to have a decent amount of time.”

He added, “I explained to them that we appreciate them letting us go over the curfew and we appreciate them keeping their men in check and upholding their side of the bargain.

“I asked them to allow us to exit peacefully and unharmed and un-cuffed.”

The protesters used the extra time to sing “Happy Birthday” to Breonna Taylor, the black EMT accidentally shot dead by white officers in her home in Louisville, Kentucky in March.

Before protesters dispersed — peacefully, unharmed and uncuffed, as promised, at around 9:40 p.m. — Williams and a few of the other protesters shared parting fist bumps with half a dozen of the officers who 90 minutes earlier had lined up against them.

“Somebody at some point has to step up and be the bigger person,” Williams said before leaving.

“Because I see so many people get hurt, I wanted to be that man.”

 ******

Amen and Amen.  Indeed, Williams showed up and shined.  Hopefully this is just the beginning of his leadership and may many others follow in his footsteps.

May God bring  lasting good and His Glory out of all this.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Pentecost: Jesus Sends the Holy Spirit to Launch His Church To the Ends of the Earth


THE EARLY CHAPTERS OF ACTS @ THE BIBLE PROJECT ARE BELOW

Way to Go! Elon and NASA Lift Our Spirits Towards the Heavens and Space Again!

ROGER SIMON: LET ELON MUSK SHOW THE WAY, NOT THE RIOTERS
MAKING SPACE EXPLORATION GREAT AGAIN!  What a great accomplishment especially from the private sector.  Congratulations to Elon Musk, NASA and everyone who participated in today's sensational liftoff. We needed it after the past months and last few days.

Way to go!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Another Solid Joy: Test of Real Verses Phony Faith


PASTOR JOHN PIPER EXPLAINS HERE. 


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 9:28)

Are you eagerly awaiting His return?  Do you pray that those you love to be saved in the meantime?  

ALSO,   The Payout For Patience.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Pastor John Piper: Five Digital Dangers


FOR ME,  THE FIRST AND SECOND ONES  can be issues and temptations though I have drastically cut back on my online time these days.

LISTEN HERE

1) The hook of constant curiosity

Personal computers offer a never-ending possibility for discovery. Even the basic environment of Windows can consume hours and days and weeks of curious punching and experimenting. Color schemes, layouts, screen-savers, short-cuts, icons, file-managing, calculators, clocks, calendars, etc. Then there are the endless software applications consuming weeks of your time as they lure you into their intricacies. All this is very deceptive, giving the illusion of power and effectiveness, but leaving you with a feeling of emptiness and nervousness at the end of the day. RESOLUTION: I will strictly limit my experimental time in the computer and devote myself more to the truth than to technique.

2) The empty world of virtual (un)reality

How sad to see brilliant, creative people pouring hours and days of their lives into creating cities and armies and adventures that have no connection with reality. We have one life to live. All our powers are given to us by the REAL God for the REAL world leading to a REAL heaven and REAL hell. RESOLUTION: I will spend my constructive, creative energy not in the unreality of “virtual reality” but in the reality of the real world.

3) "Personal" relations with PC

Like no other invention, the personal computer comes closest to being like a person. You can play games with it. There are programs that will dialogue with you about your personality. It will talk to you. It will always be there for you. It is smarter than your dog. The great danger here is that we really become comfortable with this manageable electronic “person,” and gradually drift away from the unpredictable, frustrating, sometimes painful dealings with humans persons. RESOLUTION: I will not replace the risk of personal relationships with impersonal electronic safety.

4) The risk of tryst

“Tryst \‘trist\ noun: An agreement (as between lovers) to meet." Sexual affairs begin in private time together, extended conversation, and the sharing of soul. It can now be done in the absolute seclusion of your private email screen name. It can be immediate and “live,” or delayed and “recorded.” You can think that “it’s just nothing”—until she shows up in town. RESOLUTION: I will not cultivate a one-on-one relationship with a person of the opposite sex other than my spouse. If I am single I will not cultivate such a relationship with another person’s spouse.

5) PC Porn

More insidious that X-rated videos, we can now not only watch but join the perversity in the privacy of our own den. Interactive porn will allow you to “do it” or make them “do it” with your mouse. I have never seen it. Nor do I ever intend to. It kills the spirit. It drives God away. It depersonalizes women. It quenches prayer. It blanks out the Bible. It cheapens the soul. It destroys spiritual power. It defiles everything. RESOLUTION: I will never open any program for sexual stimulation nor purchase or download anything pornographic.
On the alert with you and Jesus,
John Piper


Monday, May 11, 2020

Ask Pastor John: What Is Grace, Really?

 IT'S A SOFTBALL QUESTION TO PASTOR JOHN, but it's still worth defining again.

Audio Transcript
What is grace? It seems like a simple question, but the answer has a lot of different angles to it. It is a recent email from a podcast listener named Heather. “Hello, Pastor John! I’m shy to ask this question because I’m embarrassed to admit that I struggle to understand one of the most commonly used words in the church today. That word is ‘grace.’ I often hear it defined as ‘unmerited favor’ or ‘getting what you don’t deserve.’ And I do understand it this way in the context of Ephesians 2:8 NKJV: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.’
“But I don’t understand it in the context of texts like 2 Corinthians 12:9: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Or 1 Corinthians 15:10: ‘But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.’ I don’t understand ‘grace’ in these verses. Can you explain it to me?”

Well, one of the reasons I love this question — and I know I say that a lot because I love what we do here. I love all these questions. Actually, some of them are too hard to love. But this one is a softball to me because those verses that she is troubled by are some of my favorites.

But here’s one of the reasons I love this question: it gives me a chance to say to Heather and to everybody that we’re all really in this together, and I don’t have any special advantage over you in answering these questions except maybe that I’ve had a little more practice. In other words, what I do when I hear a question like this is something Heather could do or anybody could do.

Putting the Pieces Together

I open my Bible and I get my concordance, and I look up all occurrences of grace in the Bible. There are 131 uses of grace in the ESV — 124 in the New Testament, 86 of which are from the apostle Paul, which means two-thirds of all the uses of the word grace in the Bible are in one author: Paul. No wonder he’s called “the apostle of grace.”

So, I say that to encourage Heather (not that she shouldn’t have written in; I’m glad to have the question) and everyone else that there’s nothing magical about holding an office in the church, like pastor, and there’s nothing magical about having a degree and doing scholarship in the academy. We all go about answering questions pretty much the same way. Look at all the Bible has to say, and then do your best to see how it all fits together, all the while being humble and submitting your mind to what the Bible teaches.

You are always bracketing your preconceptions and trying to build your conceptions out of all the pieces of the Bible. It’s like a puzzle, where you’re trying to put the picture together with all the pieces. And you know, because it’s God’s word, that these pieces are going to fit. If they don’t fit in this life, they’re going to fit in the next. But we work on it as much as we can.

Grace as Undeserved Favor

So, to answer her question, let’s just limit ourselves to Paul, whom she quoted, and to the two uses of grace that she saw. On the one hand, grace is called — and I think it’s an absolutely wonderful phrase — undeserved favor.
  • Romans 3:24: “[We] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Grace is what inclines God to give gifts that are free and undeserved by sinners.
  • Romans 5:15: “If many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.” So, grace is that quality in God that produces free gifts for guilty sinners in salvation.
  • Romans 11:5–6: “At the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” So, you can’t work to earn grace. It is free and undeserved.
Now, that’s what most of us have in our minds when we say God is a God of grace. And that’s true. It’s wonderful. Our eternal lives depend on it. None of us would be saved if grace were not undeserved favor, and were not a quality in the mind of God, in the heart of God, in the nature of God.

Grace as Power for Living

But then Heather rightly notices another group of passages, also in Paul, where he comes at grace a little differently.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:8: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” Now, that seems to picture grace as a power or an influence for obedience.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9: Jesus says to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:10: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder [that was the effect of grace] than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
In all three of those texts — and they’re not the only ones — grace is not only a disposition or a quality or an inclination in the nature of God, but is an influence or a force or a power or an acting of God that works in us to change our capacities for work and suffering and obedience.

Adjusting Our Categories

So, what I do when I see things like this in the Bible is to adjust my categories in my head. I won’t say, “Oh, well that can’t be, because I’ve got this category in my head.” No, no, no. You fix the categories in your head.

If once I thought of grace only as a character trait or a disposition or an inclination in the nature of God, which moved him to treat sinners better than they deserve — if that was my only conception, once upon a time — now, having seen all the texts, I broaden my understanding of grace as the Bible uses the term. Now I say, “Well, it appears that the word grace in Paul’s use not only refers to God’s character trait or disposition or inclination to treat people better than we deserve, but the word grace also refers to the action or the power or the influence or the force of this disposition, which produces real, practical outcomes in people’s lives, like being sufficient for good deeds or enduring the thorn in the flesh or working harder than everybody else, which Paul says about his own apostolic work.”

Now, that does not mean you have to give up that simple definition of undeserved favor. That’s true. That’s a good definition. It just means that the word also embraces the encouraging truth — at least I love the truth; that’s why these verses are so precious to me — that this favor overflows in powerful, practical helpfulness from God in your daily life where you most need it. That help is also called grace because it’s free and it’s undeserved.

Draw Near with Confidence

So, let me end with a precious verse that we all know and love and maybe have never thought about in this term of grace. Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.” That’s a throne with the quality and the character and the inclination to treat people better than they deserve. That’s the kind of throne we’re coming to. But then it says, “that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Or a more literal translation: “that we may find mercy and grace for a well-timed help.”

It is incredibly encouraging that God’s grace is both the inclination of the divine heart to treat us better than we deserve and is the extension of that inclination in practical help.




Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Great Money Advice for New NFL Draftees and All of Us, If Only We'd Listen


By Kathleen Elkins

NFL PLAYER BRYON JONES has some blunt money advice for rookies: ‘Do not live a lavish lifestyle'

(I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ADVICE LIKE THIS!)

The 2020 NFL draft took place virtually on Thursday night. The Cincinnati Bengals selected former LSU standout Joe Burrow with the first pick. The 23-year-old quarterback, who is among a select few to have won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship in the same season, celebrated from his home in Athens County, Ohio, with his family.

The Washington Redskins selected Ohio State’s Chase Young with the second overall pick. His teammate Jeff Okudah went next, to the Detroit Lions.
Burrow, Young, Okudah and the rest of the first-round picks are about to sign multi-million dollar contracts. Burrow’s deal may come with a $23.9 million signing bonus.

CURRENT NFL PLAYER BRYON JONES, who was drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft and now plays for the Miami Dolphins, took to Twitter to offer some money advice for the incoming rookies through a series of five tweets.

First of all, “do not spend your money,” writes the 27-year-old cornerback. “That number you see on your contract is fake. You will pay roughly 40% to 50% in taxes, agent fees, union dues, 401(k) account and necessary insurance."

He encourages them to think long term. As tempting as it may be, don’t live a lavish life right now. “Although your mom may deserve it, she does not need a $100,000 car,” Jones writes. “She does not need a $1,000,000 house.”

“It is not the time yet,” Jones continues. “If you protect your money early, you can live a comfortable life forever and provide for your family.”

Get educated about money, says Jones. Understand the power of compound interest and put your money to work.

You don’t have to figure it all out on your own, either, Jones says. He recommends they spend time to find a trustworthy advisor. “Interview a few and ask honest, hard questions before you make a decision.”

Jones closes with a final nugget of wisdom from his financially savvy peer,  Marshawn Lynch: “SAVE YO CHICKEN.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Is the Christian's Heart Deceitful?

Greg Morse @ Desiring God---A MARRIAGE MADE IN HELL: How Satan Counsels Christian Couples.    Spoiler Alert: Not politically correct.

By Pastor John Piper,   Article and Audio

IS THE CHRISTIAN'S HEART DECEITFULLY WICKED? You’ve heard that “deceitfully wicked” phrase from the Old Testament, but is such an indictment applicable to the regenerated Christian heart? The question is from a podcast listener named Micah. “Pastor John, hello! I was recently in a debate with a friend over Jeremiah 17:9: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?’ I applied it to the ongoing sin-blindness in the heart of the Christian. My friend said I was taking a passage about unbelieving hearts and misapplying it to the Christian heart. However, in returning to the bigger context of Jeremiah 17:5–13, I find myself even more convinced verse 9 is equally applicable to believers, especially in light of verses 7 and 8. What do you think? Is Jeremiah 17:9 about believers, unbelievers, or both?” Pastor John, how do you process this text and its context?
 
Let me walk quickly through the flow of thought from Jeremiah 17:1–9. And I think everybody will be able to see how verse 9 is functioning.

Blessing and a Curse

Jeremiah begins with an indictment of Judah and a warning of destruction. It says, “The sin of Judah is . . . engraved on the tablet of their heart . . . while their children remember their altars and their Asherim” (Jeremiah 17:1–2). Those are other gods. Idolatry is the issue here. “Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your high places for sin” (Jeremiah 17:3). So, he’s going to bring judgment on them for the sin of their heart and the idolatry of their worship.

And then he says what’s beneath that. God says in Jeremiah 17:5–6, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come.” That’s the root problem of the idolatry and the sin. The root problem is that they are trusting in man, not in God.

And then he describes what alternatively ought to be: the opposite of this and the benefits that would come if it were the case. “Blessed is the man” — not cursed is the man who trusts in man — “who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7–8).

Every Heart an Idol Factory

Now, that leaves us with this question: If trusting in self results in such misery (no good shall come) and trusting in God results in such fruitfulness (you’re going to prosper), why in the world is a whole nation acting so suicidally in self-trust and sin and idolatry? And his answer is verse 9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” So, the human heart is diseased with sin and in the sway of deceit. And that’s why people act suicidally in preferring self-trust over God-trust.

So, the overall point of the passage seems to be that the root of sin and idolatry is a failure to trust in God rather than self. And the root of that failure is a deceitful and depraved heart. So, I think Jeremiah — indeed, I think all the biblical writers — would say that’s the root problem ever since the fall of man into sin and corruption. All human beings — no exceptions — are born with this kind of fallen, diseased, deceived, self-exalting, God-opposing heart.

What Happens in the New Birth?

So, the question is this: When a person experiences the new birth — becomes a Christian — what happens to that diseased, deceived, self-exalting, God-opposing heart? Here are some verses that describe what happens:
  • Ezekiel 36:26 describes the new covenant like this: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
  • Romans 6:17: “Thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed.”
  • Acts 15:9: God “made no distinction between [Jew] and [Gentile], having cleansed their hearts by faith.”
  • John 7:38 may be the most amazing of all: Jesus says, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Oh, amazing. Oh, I want to be like that, right? I just want to have a kind of new heart that doesn’t just enjoy water — it flows to other people. John 7:39: “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive.”
  • 1 Timothy 1:5: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

Divine DNA Infused

So, my conclusion is that we can say that Jeremiah 17:9 (the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick) is true of the human heart — all of them. But where God is applying the blood-bought purchase of the new covenant, there is a new creation. Sins are forgiven. Holy Spirit is poured in. New nature is brought into being. That newness consists in the presence of the heart-influencing Holy Spirit and in the new nature. You might call it the divine-like DNA that is more and more being conformed to Christ.


  (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Coronavirus and Christ.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Richard Kew Devotional, Second Sunday of Easter

SERMON BY TIM KELLER: Hope in Times of Fear @ The Gospel Coalition

Sunday, April 19, 2020 John 20:19-31

ON THE EVENING of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


Thought for the Day

 It is the evening of Easter Sunday when Jesus comes to his disciples in the Upper Room. The doors were locked but then there he was in the midst of them and the first thing to do is to show them his hands, feet, and side. By doing this he is saying, "Yes, this really is me - the man who died by crucifixion on Friday is the same man standing among you this evening. Perhaps their mouths were hanging open as realized he really had risen from the dead, something further emphasized a week later when the absent Thomas was given the same opportunity. Then he said to them, "Peace be with you." These words should not be separated from the act of showing his crucifixion wounds. What Jesus is saying is "God's peace is with you because of these wounds and the death that followed them. I truly died that you might be at peace with God, and I rose again to affirm that God's peace is with you. What does this mean? The peace of God, SHALOM in Hebrew, is talked about from early in the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament. In the OT the peace of God is often associated with the coming of the Messiah - and Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. The righteous, sinless Messiah had come and died and risen again so that his followers down through the centuries could know his grace through the Holy Spirit's presence. It is no accident that after this Jesus breathes on them he says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." Be made righteous before the Father by the risen Christ dwelling in you through the presence of the third person of the Trinity. It is not anything we do, neither is receiving the Holy Spirit a transaction of some kind - Shalom is given to us through Jesus who died and rose again. Jesus becomes our peace, our shalom, and we become his disciples, his sheep, through his death which was followed by his resurrection from the dead. The cross and resurrection are the start of the process of God reconciling all things to himself and restoring the world. His resurrection from the dead is a demonstration that Jesus is the Lord of all. Here's what the letter to the Hebrews says about all this: "Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Ponder on these words in the light of our gospel reading. Thanksgiving for the Day We praise and give thanks to the God of grace who brought Jesus from the dead assuring us of his righteousness and peace.

Intercession for the  Day

Shalom is a word with a rich meaning and in this devotional we have barely scratched the surface of this. However, let us pray that God in Christ will show us what living in shalom means for our lives. We pray for Africa as it begins to experience the agony of Covid-19, and for their woefully inadequate medical systems as they seek to care for their people.

Collect for the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Second Sunday in the Easter Season)

Tim Kelller: Hope in Times of Fear and the History of Human Progress and Secular Hope


A SERMON FOR OUR TIME OF PLAGUE

Source @ The Gospel Coalition

Thursday, April 16, 2020

I'm With John Tamny: Plan to Open Economy By Choosing Adaptive Freedom


BY JOHN TAMNY @ RealClearMarkets

FOR FUN, let's assume a mass declaration of freedom on local, state and national levels. If so, how many readers will immediately revert to the “old way” of doing things, including close-talking, packed bars, sold out movie theaters, washing hands less than several times an hour, and biggest gasp of all, shaking hands?
Just the same, how many businesses wouldn’t change a thing if free to operate again? The ability to adapt to change is such a known driver of long-term commercial success in good times that it’s almost a cliché. Figure that the good businesses nowadays disrupt themselves (think Netflix taking out Blockbuster DVDs by mail, only for Netflix to erase its old model of success for streaming) with survival in mind, so is it unreasonable to suggest that, if free to operate, they wouldn’t oversee all manner of changes meant to please and lead consumers who’ve changed?

In his latest column, the Wall Street Journal’s excellent Holman Jenkins refers either sarcastically or critically to the “mythical ‘do nothing’ strategy” in response to the coronavirus, but it’s nice to imagine that he sarcastically means there’s literally no such thing as “do nothing.” There isn’t simply because humans have evolved as a species presumably because it’s in their DNA to do that which elongates their existence. And as evidenced by the copious savings that individuals and businesses are able to draw on in order to innovate, we humans are careful people. To varying degrees we save for the possibility of a “rainy day” without coercion, which is just more evidence that in a broad sense we the people get it. We don’t need a law to do what's in our interest.

To which some will key on the “in a broad sense” line to point out that not everyone is as wise as the Covid-obsessed are, which means everyone must endure draconian, economy and freedom-crushing rules so that the few who need handholding can get it. But that’s not serious. As is, all-too-many of us will not limit ourselves to the mood-altering substances that politicians 'allow' us to consume, some of us are only interested in surfing and skiing when conditions are most life-threatening, and some us can’t stand the thought of not hugging, shaking hands, or missing the excitement of a loud – and very packed – party, bar, stadium or arena.

Just the same, some businesses won’t change either. Frustrating as they are, some will never rid bathrooms of the hand dryers that are said to spread germs, some will never demand that their customers maintain distance from other customers, or demand that they wait outside altogether, and some will refuse to refuse customers even if it means people aren't SIX FEET APART.

What cannot be stressed enough is that if the goal is figuring out the best way to combat a virus with no known cure, those who don’t follow norms are as crucial producers of information that will enable cures as those who do. Precisely because they don’t follow the unwritten societal rules, their contracting of the virus (or not), their sickness (or not) from ignoring broad convention, and their death rates relative to the Covid-obsessed will hopefully give those searching for solutions exponentially more to work with
.
What applies to individual decisions also applies to businesses. At this point they really don’t know what customers want, and will want in the future. Trite as it sounds, and is, we’ll hear a lot now and in the future about how “Covid-19 changed everything.” Absolutely. And because it will, or did, it’s essential that there be a “do nothing” approach from politicians given the certainty that free businesses will do all manner of things in order to win back customers either shell-shocked a little, a lot, or not at all by the past. Some will perhaps even give the finger to illiterate rules against “price gouging” such that they institute surge-pricing at their businesses as a way of controlling crowds via market signals.

Stating what should be obvious, the one-size-fits-all lockdowns imposed on Americans by politicians are blinding those same Americans to the information necessary to successfully beat an unknown. Freedom isn’t some feel-good, amorphous chant. It’s in fact pro-life and pro-growth simply because free people acting without forced limits show us through their successes and failures how to get by, and thrive, in life.
Looking at all of this nationally, President Trump said about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that he’s been “calling daily, even hourly, begging for everything, most of which should have been the state’s responsibility…” Trump has a point, when he’s not making nonsensical claims about “absolute” power. “Do-nothing” on the state level is a myth too, and so long as we empower the federal government to oversee handouts, we needlessly install power centrally with those who think they have absolute power right at a time when cities and states should be innovating; their innovations including “doing nothing.” Lest we forget, Texas has a lower Covid death rate than California, even though it began its unfortunate lockdowns two weeks after the Golden State
.
And while libertarians make compelling claims that states rule versus federal oversight in times like this, the simple truth is that local and state politicians have arrogated to themselves the power to take businesses and the right to work away from business owners and workers. Considering all this, do libertarians really believe the Constitution is wholly toothless against the local and state taking of so much property? Seeking an answer to this question, let’s at least have discussions, and hopefully lawsuits. Shouldn’t the Trump administration at least file lawsuits against cities and states who think so little of individual and property rights? We need more information right now, not less.

The biggest producer of information meant to beat the virus is freedom, including freedom from a government “plan to open the economy” that the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page is calling for. No. Plans just produce darkness. We need Jenkins’s “do nothing” so that we can see.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, Vice President at FreedomWorks, and a senior economic adviser to Toreador Research and Trading (www.trtadvisors.com). His new book is titled They're Both Wrong: A Policy Guide for America's Frustrated Independent Thinkers. Other books by Tamny include The End of Work, about the exciting growth of jobs more and more of us love, Who Needs the Fed? and Popular Economics. He can be reached at jtamny@realclearmarkets.com.  

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Andrew Latimer, Grace Church Greenwich---The Supernatural Resurrection: Jesus Shows Back Up


 LISTEN HERE


MATTHEW 28

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

King James Version (KJV)

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Montana Physician Discusses Covid-19 and Best Guess, Often Inaccurate Death Certificates

MUST SEE VIDEO GIVING PERSPECTIVE TO THIS CRAZY GLOBAL PANIC WE'RE LIVING THROUGH, thanks to My Bad Influence:
 
 Watch to the end and see how inaccurate and scary death certificates may and can contribute to medical and political fake news,  terrorism and loss of individual liberties. We need to be aware.

Sure,  there is a new virus which is contagious and scary and needs to be taken prudently and seriously..  But the numbers of people who actually die from it may v ery well be vastly over-inflated.   And even in this,  the deaths, inflated or not, are vastly lower than originally forecast.  

Friday, April 10, 2020

Psalm 22---Song of Jesus On the Cross, Starting in Agony and Abandonment, Ending In Praise

SERMON GRACE CHURCH GREENWICH  LONDON:  Andrew Latimer---Psalm 22, The Crucifixion

A SONG OF DAVID, Written 1,000 Years Before the Crucifixion of Christ

1 MY GOD, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

King James Version (KJV)