Monday, January 30, 2023

Dr. Tim Keller Exploring the Gospel of Jesus in Genesis, Exodus

Jesus in Genesis: In Exodus, below:

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Genesis 4 Story of Cain and Abel Still Plays Out In Today's Fallen World Families with Harry and William

Genesis 4

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. 16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Sweet Story of Transformation Appropos to Christmas and Beyond: The Bus Stop

Wishing everyone a very Merry, Blessed Christmas!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

For Thanksgiving; Psalm 103:1-22 KJV


1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

Friday, November 25, 2022

6:30 AM Black Friday, Opry Mills, LEGOland


WHERE ELSE WOULD WE BE AT THAT HOUR, PRAYTELL?  This guy is 14 this week and close to becoming a LEGO master.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

The True Story of Thanksgiving vs The Narrative and What's Still Taught In Most Schools

VIA RUSH AND CFP: Well worth a yearly read. Happy Thanksgiving!

RUSH:

THE TRUE STORY OF THANKSGIVING is spreading, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Bottom line: It is spreading. I’m just gonna cut to the chase here before getting into reading the text. The Real Story of Thanksgiving, going back to the very first early days of the Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock, is that socialism failed. Here’s the version you were probably taught:

The Pilgrims arrived here after an arduous trip across the Atlantic Ocean. They didn’t know why they were, had no idea what to do. They had nothing. The Indians took pity on them. The Indians saw them, and the Indians saved them. The Indians taught ’em how to do things they didn’t know how to do, like grow food, catch beavers, stuff like that.

The Indians saved them, and the Pilgrims thanked them by growing a whole bunch of food and having this big feast. So, the story of Thanksgiving that’s taught is basically how without the Native Americans there wouldn’t be a country because the Pilgrims would have died. At least the Pilgrims were nice enough to pay the Indians back with a big Thanksgiving dinner.

That’s not at all what happened. It’s not even close to what happened, which is why I decided to write about it. Now, in the Revere book — the children’s book, as I say — I went into greater detail about some of the Native Americans who provided assistance to the arriving Pilgrims, particularly a young native by the name of Squanto.

Now, I’m doing show prep today, and I come across a story in The Federalist. I quote from this website all the time, and I’m reading this story here, and, by the way, folks, it is… (chuckles) I don’t know. It’s right out of the Rush Revere book, and it’s right out of my See, I Told You So book. There’s a whole lot of discussion here of Squanto, who he was, what he did, how he helped, the details.

The point is The True Story of Thanksgiving is spreading, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Bottom line: It is spreading. I’m just gonna cut to the chase here before getting into reading the text. The Real Story of Thanksgiving, going back to the very first early days of the Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock, is that socialism failed.

This is crucially important today, because we have just elected a Democrat Party that is going to implement socialism if they win these two seats in Georgia, and they’re gonna try regardless. But if they win those two seats in Georgia, you can say good-bye to the United States as you know it. It will become a socialist state. It will begin the process of becoming…

Well, we’re way down the road towards it anyway. So, it is crucially important here for people to understand this. It’s not antiquated. It’s not a cliche. It’s not something that you can make fun of people about. You know, it used to be when I first started this show in the late eighties, early nineties, if you dared to refer to the Soviet Union as “communist,” people made fun of you.


“Ah, come on, Rush! You see a communist behind every rock,” and they tried to ridicule you out of identifying communists and communism. Castro, the ChiComs. I never buckled, but a lot of people did — and they’re doing it now. If you say, “The United States, the Democrat Party’s on the pathway to socialism,” they make fun of you. They mock you.

“Come on! You don’t believe that. You can’t believe that! That’s just silly,” and they try to mock you and make fun of you, to silence you. But, folks, it’s real. Now… “The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century… The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize [the church’s] absolute civil and spiritual authority,” actually, the state.

“Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down…” This is in England in the 1600s. They “were hunted down and imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists,” people who didn’t want any part of this, “first fled to Holland,” they liked wooden shoes and cheese, “and established a community.”

They were there for eleven years. “After eleven years, about forty of” these separatists who liked wooden shoes and cheese, “agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World…” They had heard about it. Some new, exciting place that hadn’t been developed. They knew they would “face hardships,” hardships like you and I don’t know — and I’m not preaching to you.

I’m just telling you, we don’t know the hardship these people endured. We can’t. We are way too advanced now. People who lived in the 1600s would not believe life today. (Snort!) Try to explain flight, jet travel. They wouldn’t understand it. They knew they would “face hardships,” but paramount importance to them was living freely and worshiping God according to the dictates of their own consciences, their own beliefs.

That’s what they were denied the freedom to do in England. “On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty” of these separatists, the Pilgrims. There were just 40 of them. They were “led by William Bradford. On the journey” across the Atlantic… You talk about something that had to be frightening and scary?

The Mayflower was not much bigger than a 50-foot boat, and 102 people on it. “On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract” if you will, “that established just and equal laws for all [40] members of the [Pilgrim] community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.” It didn’t matter what their religious beliefs were.

These are the laws they were all agreeing to live by. “Where did the revolutionary ideas,” these laws, come from? We’re talking about the Mayflower Compact. That is what Bradford wrote. The Mayflower Compact derived “[f]rom the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments.”

They were devoutly religious people. No matter what else is said about them (and even that is denied), they were devoutly religious. “They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.”

They never doubted they would get to the New World. They never doubted that once they got there, they would thrive. The journey was long; it was arduous; it was dangerous. And when they finally landed, when the Pilgrims finally landed in New England in November, according to William Bradford’s detailed journal, they found a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. Imagine New England as it exists today as nothing but rocks, forest, undeveloped nature in November and getting colder.

There were no friends to greet them. There was no shelter of any kind other than hiding under a tree, there was nothing, folks. It was desolate. There were no hotels. There were no inns. There were no places to clean up. There were no houses. I mean, this was real hardship. The sacrifice that they had made for the freedom to worship was just beginning.

During that first winter — remember, they arrive in November — during that first winter, half of them, including William Bradford’s own wife, died of starvation, of sickness, exposure to the elements. Now we’re getting close to what you were taught in school. When spring finally came — and, by the way, writing that doesn’t do it justice. Spring didn’t just finally come. It was a survival. It was an act of survival that you and I cannot possibly relate to or understand.

American Special Forces can. Military people who’ve been trained can understand what the Pilgrims were — you and I can’t. We’ve never done anything like that first winter in the New World. They survived it. Spring finally came. They did meet the Indians, the Native Americans who were there, who did help them in planting corn and fishing for cod. They showed ’em where the beavers were so the beavers could be skinned for coats, other things. You animal rights people are not gonna like some of this story, but it happened.

But even at this, even with this degree of assistance from the Indians, the Native Americans, there wasn’t any prosperity yet. They had the Mayflower Compact. They had these laws they were living by, and there was no prosperity. And I wonder why. Now, this is important to understand here, folks, because this is where modern American history lessons end, with the Indians teaching the Pilgrims how to eat, how to fish, how to skin beavers, and all that.

That’s where it ends. And that’s the feel-good story. But that doesn’t even get close to the true story. You know, Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives. It wasn’t that. That happened, but Thanksgiving was a devout expression of gratitude, the Pilgrims, to God for their survival, and everything that was a part of it.

The True Story of Thanksgiving has been obscured by what is taught — what I was taught, you were probably taught. Here’s the version you were probably taught:

The Pilgrims arrived here after an arduous trip across the Atlantic Ocean. They didn’t know why they were, had no idea what to do. They had nothing. The Indians took pity on them. The Indians saw them, and the Indians saved them. The Indians taught ’em how to do things they didn’t know how to do, like grow food, catch beavers, stuff like that.

The Indians saved them, and the Pilgrims thanked them by growing a whole bunch of food and having this big feast. So, the story of Thanksgiving that’s taught is basically how without the Native Americans there wouldn’t be a country because the Pilgrims would have died. At least the Pilgrims were nice enough to pay the Indians back with a big Thanksgiving dinner.

That’s not at all what happened. It’s not even close to what happened, which is why I decided to write about it. Now, in the Revere book — the children’s book, as I say — I went into greater detail about some of the Native Americans who provided assistance to the arriving Pilgrims, particularly a young native by the name of Squanto.

Now, I’m doing show prep today, and I come across a story in The Federalist. I quote from this website all the time, and I’m reading this story here, and, by the way, folks, it is… (chuckles) I don’t know. It’s right out of the Rush Revere book, and it’s right out of my See, I Told You So book. There’s a whole lot of discussion here of Squanto, who he was, what he did, how he helped, the details.

The point is The True Story of Thanksgiving is spreading, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Bottom line: It is spreading. I’m just gonna cut to the chase here before getting into reading the text. The Real Story of Thanksgiving, going back to the very first early days of the Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock, is that socialism failed.

This is crucially important today, because we have just elected a Democrat Party that is going to implement socialism if they win these two seats in Georgia, and they’re gonna try regardless. But if they win those two seats in Georgia, you can say good-bye to the United States as you know it. It will become a socialist state. It will begin the process of becoming…

Well, we’re way down the road towards it anyway. So, it is crucially important here for people to understand this. It’s not antiquated. It’s not a cliche. It’s not something that you can make fun of people about. You know, it used to be when I first started this show in the late eighties, early nineties, if you dared to refer to the Soviet Union as “communist,” people made fun of you.

“Ah, come on, Rush! You see a communist behind every rock,” and they tried to ridicule you out of identifying communists and communism. Castro, the ChiComs. I never buckled, but a lot of people did — and they’re doing it now. If you say, “The United States, the Democrat Party’s on the pathway to socialism,” they make fun of you. They mock you.

“Come on! You don’t believe that. You can’t believe that! That’s just silly,” and they try to mock you and make fun of you, to silence you. But, folks, it’s real. Now… “The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century… The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize [the church’s] absolute civil and spiritual authority,” actually, the state.

“Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down…” This is in England in the 1600s. They “were hunted down and imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists,” people who didn’t want any part of this, “first fled to Holland,” they liked wooden shoes and cheese, “and established a community.”

They were there for eleven years. “After eleven years, about forty of” these separatists who liked wooden shoes and cheese, “agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World…” They had heard about it. Some new, exciting place that hadn’t been developed. They knew they would “face hardships,” hardships like you and I don’t know — and I’m not preaching to you.

I’m just telling you, we don’t know the hardship these people endured. We can’t. We are way too advanced now. People who lived in the 1600s would not believe life today. (Snort!) Try to explain flight, jet travel. They wouldn’t understand it. They knew they would “face hardships,” but paramount importance to them was living freely and worshiping God according to the dictates of their own consciences, their own beliefs.

That’s what they were denied the freedom to do in England. “On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty” of these separatists, the Pilgrims. There were just 40 of them. They were “led by William Bradford. On the journey” across the Atlantic… You talk about something that had to be frightening and scary?

The Mayflower was not much bigger than a 50-foot boat, and 102 people on it. “On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract” if you will, “that established just and equal laws for all [40] members of the [Pilgrim] community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.” It didn’t matter what their religious beliefs were.

These are the laws they were all agreeing to live by. “Where did the revolutionary ideas,” these laws, come from? We’re talking about the Mayflower Compact. That is what Bradford wrote. The Mayflower Compact derived “[f]rom the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments.”

They were devoutly religious people. No matter what else is said about them (and even that is denied), they were devoutly religious. “They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.”

They never doubted they would get to the New World. They never doubted that once they got there, they would thrive. The journey was long; it was arduous; it was dangerous. And when they finally landed, when the Pilgrims finally landed in New England in November, according to William Bradford’s detailed journal, they found a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. Imagine New England as it exists today as nothing but rocks, forest, undeveloped nature in November and getting colder.

There were no friends to greet them. There was no shelter of any kind other than hiding under a tree, there was nothing, folks. It was desolate. There were no hotels. There were no inns. There were no places to clean up. There were no houses. I mean, this was real hardship. The sacrifice that they had made for the freedom to worship was just beginning.

During that first winter — remember, they arrive in November — during that first winter, half of them, including William Bradford’s own wife, died of starvation, of sickness, exposure to the elements. Now we’re getting close to what you were taught in school. When spring finally came — and, by the way, writing that doesn’t do it justice. Spring didn’t just finally come. It was a survival. It was an act of survival that you and I cannot possibly relate to or understand.

American Special Forces can. Military people who’ve been trained can understand what the Pilgrims were — you and I can’t. We’ve never done anything like that first winter in the New World. They survived it. Spring finally came. They did meet the Indians, the Native Americans who were there, who did help them in planting corn and fishing for cod. They showed ’em where the beavers were so the beavers could be skinned for coats, other things. You animal rights people are not gonna like some of this story, but it happened.

But even at this, even with this degree of assistance from the Indians, the Native Americans, there wasn’t any prosperity yet. They had the Mayflower Compact. They had these laws they were living by, and there was no prosperity. And I wonder why. Now, this is important to understand here, folks, because this is where modern American history lessons end, with the Indians teaching the Pilgrims how to eat, how to fish, how to skin beavers, and all that.

That’s where it ends. And that’s the feel-good story. But that doesn’t even get close to the true story. You know, Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives. It wasn’t that. That happened, but Thanksgiving was a devout expression of gratitude, the Pilgrims, to God for their survival, and everything that was a part of it.

Now, here’s the part that has been omitted. The original contract the Pilgrims entered into in Holland — they had sponsors. They didn’t have the money to do this trip on their own. They had sponsors. There were merchant sponsors in London and in Holland. And these merchant sponsors demanded that everything that the Pilgrims produced in the New World would go into a common store, a single bank, if you will. And that each member of the Pilgrim community was entitled to one share.

So everybody had an equal share of whatever was in that bank. All of the land they cleared, all of the houses they built belonged to that bank, to the community as well. And they were going to distribute it equally, because they were gonna be fair. So all of the land that they cleared and all the houses they built belonged to everybody. Belonged to the community. Belonged to the bank, belonged to the common store. Nobody owned anything. They just had an equal share in it. It was a commune.

The Pilgrims established a commune, essentially. Forerunner of the communes we saw in the sixties and seventies out in California. They even had their own organic vegetables, by the way. Yep. The Pilgrims, forerunners of organic vegetables. Of course, what else could there be? No such thing as processed anything back then.

Now, William Bradford, who had become the governor of the colony ’cause he was the leader, recognized that this wasn’t gonna work. This was costly and destructive, and it just wasn’t working. It was collectivism. It was socialism. It wasn’t working. That first winner had taken a lot of lives. The manpower was greatly reduced. So William Bradford decided to take bold action, which I will describe when we get back.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: William Bradford, the governor of the Pilgrim community, saw that none of this was working. The Mayflower Compact was not working. Giving everybody a single share of stock in the common store, in the common bank was not working. Collectivism. It was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as it is and has been to anybody who has ever tried it.

So Bradford decided to scrub it. He threw it out and took bold action. He assigned a plot of land to each family. Every family was given a plot of land. They could work it, manage it however they wanted to. If they just wanted to sit on it, get fat, dumb, happy, and lazy, they could. If they wanted to develop it, if they wanted to grow corn, whatever on it, they could. If they wanted to build on it, they could do that. If they wanted to turn it into a quasi-business, they could do whatever they wanted to do with it.

He turned loose the power of the capitalist marketplace. Long before Karl Marx was even born. Long before Karl Marx was a sperm cell in his father’s dreams, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism, and they found that it didn’t work. Now, it wasn’t called that then. But that’s exactly what it was. Everybody was given an equal share. You know what happened? Nobody did anything. There was no incentive. Nothing worked. Nothing happened.

“What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years — trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it — the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering,” if the true story of Thanksgiving had been taught for years and years and years.

So, William Bradford, after putting everybody in a common store, the Mayflower Compact… They wanted to be fair. They wanted everybody to have one common share of stock in everything that happened that the Pilgrims produced — and it bombed. It didn’t work.

There was no prosperity; there was no creativity because there was no incentive. Here’s what Bradford wrote about the failure: “‘For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent…'” They were not happy, in other words. “‘[T]his community was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.'”

In other words, nobody worked.

The way they set it up, killed and discouraged work.

There was no need.

“‘For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service'” sat around and did nothing. “‘[T]hey should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without'” being paid for it? Why should they do that? So, they didn’t. “‘[T]hat was thought injustice.’ Why should you work for other people when you can’t work for yourself? What’s the point? Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen?

“The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So, what did Bradford’s community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking” capitalism, “the principle of private property,” all the way back in the 1600s. It was incredible. “Every family was assigned its own plot of land,” and they could do with it whatever they wanted to do.

“‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, ‘for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.'” So when profit was introduced, when the opportunity to prosper was introduced, it went gangbusters. That, my friends, is the essence of the True Story of Thanksgiving. “Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you’re laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school.

“So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians” after they had enjoyed this prosperity. It was not the Indians that brought them to prosperity. It’s not said to insult anybody. The Indians assisted in their arrival undeniably. But what led to prosperity for these original settlers was the common store failed. Socialism didn’t work.

It’s when they introduced what turns out to be capitalism. They didn’t have the name for it, but when they turned loose individual incentive — keep what you produce, sell what you don’t need — it went crazy. This is not something they were taught by anybody by self-experience. It was not the Indians. None of this is said to put anybody down. Don’t misunderstand.

The Indians did a lot of things that helped them, which I’ll get to in just a second, but it was their own industriousness. “[T]hey set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.” They sold stuff to them, and those “profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants,” their sponsors in London and in Holland, and you know what?

The success of that colony after they had abandoned socialism and tried what was essentially capitalism, the word spread throughout the Old World of this massive amount of prosperity that was there for the taking in the New World. And guess what happened? The New World was flooded with new arrivals. “[T]he success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.'”

And all it took was prosperity and the word spreading across the Atlantic Ocean of how there was prosperity and it was there for the taking. All you had to do was get there and give it a shot. The lesson is — The True Story of Thanksgiving is — that William Bradford and his Pilgrim community were thanking God for the blessings on their community after the first miserable winter of a documented failure brought on by their attempt at fairness and equality, which was socialism.

It didn’t work.

Only when they abandoned it did it work — and I need to say it again, because I don’t want people to misunderstand and get noses out of joint. The Native Americans, the indigenous people, the Injuns, whatever you want to call ’em, they were of considerable assistance, and they were friendly when the Pilgrims arrived. But they had little, if anything, to do with the prosperity that occurred.

Because that was the result of Bradford and the Pilgrim leadership deciding to change their structure, the Mayflower Compact. Now, Indians assisted, naturally. I can’t deny it. I mean, they taught them how to fish and this kind of thing that they didn’t know how to do, and that led them to be productive, undeniably so. But it was the Pilgrim community itself which experienced this massive prosperity.

The word of which spread all the way back to the Old World, Europe across the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, I mentioned earlier that The Federalist has a story on all this, and in it they describe much of what we did in the second book that dealt with this, the children’s book, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. That book goes into great detail about how the Indians did provide assistance and what kind of assistance it was, how valuable it was and how crucial it was.

In Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, we focus on a Native American by the name of Squanto. Now, as I told you, “During the winter of 1620, only 44 out of the original 102 [Pilgrims] survived, including their first elected governor of the colony, John Carver,” and it was “an Indian named Squanto came to their rescue.” As I say, this is, as I say, explored in great detail in Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims.

“Squanto was no ordinary native. Early settlers in 1610 had captured him and sold him into slavery. A group of Catholic friars freed him and brought him to England, where he learned to speak English. In 1618, serving as an interpreter on an English ship, he was brought back to the New World.” It was Squanto — who is a famous Native American in his own right in the Pilgrim story. it was Squanto who “taught the Pilgrims how to plant and fish,” how to skin beavers. It was Squanto who “broker[ed] a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and other Indian tribes.”

There was more than one tribe of Indians. It was not copacetic. It was not friendly and at one with nature. It was not anything like the multiculturalists would have you believe. There were squabbles; there were power struggles; turf battles. It was human. The Indians, the Pilgrims, everybody was scrambling for power, for survival. Survivability was the name of the game. And it was not guaranteed.

Now, many of the Pilgrims literally believed that God had sent Squanto to save them. And they believed, the Pilgrims believed, that without Squanto they never would have survived, or thrived. And they experienced a tremendous harvest in 1621, and that’s the big gathering that is taught in the history books, the native Indians and the Pilgrims joined together for a huge feast, which is the foundational story of the Thanksgiving story that’s taught in public schools.

But, again, that is not The Real Story of Thanksgiving. That’s the textbook brand. It did happen, but it’s so much more than that. And I love taking the opportunity every year to explain the truth of, especially now given this election’s apparently, allegedly fallen out. Because even at The Federalist — this is so great that the story is spreading. “One of the most important legacies of early settlers is that they experimented with socialism in the 1620s, and it didn’t work. Private property rights and personal responsibility, two pillars of a free market economy, saved the Plymouth colony from extinction and laid the economic foundation for a free and prosperous nation that we all enjoy today.”

And that is exactly right. And that is The True Story of Thanksgiving. And that has been what should have been shared with you every Thanksgiving for the past 31 years.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Gospel Coalition's Steve Bateman


THE ABOLUTIONIST HERO YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF November 10, 2022 | Steve Bateman, 

Please note: If you can get through the first scholarly paragraphs and down to the abolutionist part, this is a fascinating read.

 IN 1798, GRANVILLE SHARP published a real page-turner titled Remarks on the Use of the Definitive Article in the Greek New Testament. One of those remarks came to be known as the Granville Sharp Rule: when two singular common nouns of the same case are used to describe a person and are connected by the copulative kai (“and”), and if the definite article ho (“the”) precedes the first noun but not the second, then both nouns refer to the same person.  It may sound irrelevant to all but seminary students cramming for their Greek exam, but Granville Sharp was an orthodox Christian defending the historic faith. In the 18th century, Enlightenment theologians denied that Scripture taught the deity of Christ and thus the Trinity. But in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, for example, the Granville Sharp Rule shows Jesus Christ isn’t only our “Savior” but also our “God.” The rule has been the subject of much scholarly debate, but it remains a useful principle of Greek translation. Remarks went through four editions in the next ten years, garnered the praise of renowned Greek scholars, and has sparked considerable theological discussion for over two centuries. More than a Scholar 

 

But there’s more to Sharp than the finer points of Greek grammar. For good reason, New Testament scholar Daniel Wallace considers him a “model of evangelical scholarship and social action.”

Long before he published remarks on the Greek article, Sharp proposed another rule. It’s embedded in a 1774 treatise in which Sharp affirmed and advanced the argument being made by American colonists protesting taxation without representation. Benjamin Franklin distributed 250 copies of Sharp’s tract in America and publishers reprinted thousands of copies. But Sharp’s support of the American cause included a crucial qualification: The toleration of domestic slavery in the Colonies greatly weakens the claim or natural right of our American brethren to liberty. Let them put away the accursed thing, that horrid oppression! from among them, before they presume to implore the interposition of divine justice; for whilst they retain their brethren of the world in the most shameful involuntary servitude, it is profane in them to look up to the merciful Lord of all, and call him Father! 

 

I’d say the other Granville Sharp Rule is this: when asking God for protection from the injustice that comes to you, repent of all the injustice that comes from you. 

 The transatlantic slave trade was one of the great injustices, in scope and consequence, in all human history. Sadly, slavery flourished during the conception and birth of the United States largely because many professing Christians defended this injustice by distorting Scripture. But we are not without heroes. Before John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace,” before William Wilberforce petitioned the English Parliament, and before Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, Granville Sharp was fighting slavery. Advocacy for Abolition 

Granville Sharp was born 287 years ago—November 10, 1735—in Durham, England. By the age of 30, Sharp found his calling as Britain’s “first abolitionist.” In 1769, he published the first of several tracts arguing against slavery, describing its horrors and showing its inconsistency with the Christian faith and English common law. In 1772, Sharp recruited and advised lawyers for James Somerset, a runaway slave. In Somerset v. Stewart, the court ruled that a slave brought from America to England couldn’t be forced to return, and Somerset was freed. It didn’t end slavery in England, but the abolitionist movement took a strategic step forward. Before John Newton wrote ‘Amazing Grace,’ before William Wilberforce petitioned the English Parliament, and before Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, Granville Sharp was fighting slavery. 

Sharp’s influence grew with Americans, including founders John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams. In 1773, Benjamin Rush—a Philadelphia physician who would later sign the Declaration of Independence—initiated correspondence with Granville Sharp that would last for 36 years. That same year, Rush wrote a tract to his fellow Americans denouncing slavery. Rush appealed to magistrates and legislators and took aim at American pastors: “In vain will you command your flocks to offer up the incence of Faith and Charity, while they continue to mingle the Sweat and blood of Negro slaves with their sacrifices.” Three years before the birth of the United States, the nation’s founders and their pastors had been duly warned. In early 1776, Sharp also pushed back on pastors who used Scripture to defend the buying and selling of human beings. In the last tract he wrote before the birth of the United States, Sharp concludes, essentially, “We cannot be said to love our neighbors as ourselves or to do to others as we would they should do unto us whilst we retain them against their will, in a despicable servitude as slaves, and private property, or mere chattels!” 

Complicated History In today’s partisan environment, American history is often used, and misused, to support political ideology. The impulse on the left is to focus largely on our national sins and the injustices we’ve tolerated. The impulse on the right is to focus largely on our national achievements and the force for good the United States has been in the world. Our history is more complicated than either narrative. 

 Three years before the birth of the United States, the nation’s founders and their pastors had been duly warned. Our love for country may lead us to react to unjust criticism with unjust praise. But the life of Granville Sharp corrects our sentimental notions that the United States “birthed abolition movements” as if no effort had been made prior to July 4, 1776. The abolition movement didn’t originate with the Declaration of Independence, and it only gained traction when Granville Sharp combined biblical scholarship, legal acumen, and skillful tract writing an ocean away and a decade before America was born. Sharp’s “other rule” reminds us that the founders were duly warned but missed an opportunity to redress “a long train of abuses” they’d brought on others. 

By tolerating slavery, early Americans did in fact weaken their “claim or natural right . . . to liberty.” John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Rush eventually applied Granville Sharp’s other rule in their opposition to slavery. But there are precious few founders (if any) who never owned slaves and applied both of Sharp’s rules by boldly defending Christ’s deity and vigorously opposing American slavery. Let that reality always grieve our hearts but never slip our minds, sparking us to ask the Lord to make us orthodox pursuers of justice for all.

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

THE REPROACHES 

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

@ DESIRING GOD---THE BLISSFUL AND TRIVIAL LIFE

 

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

BOYS TO COURAGEOUS 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.....

 LISTEN

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.